TCSS Teacher of the Year

Troup County School System TOTY Last Updated: 10/10/2022 4:30 PM

The 2022-2023 System Teacher of the Year winner is …Dr. Linda Wood.  Dr. Wood teaches 11th grade American Literature. Congratulations Dr. Wood!  She shared with us one of her favorite teaching moments:

My most memorable moment as an educator came about six years ago when a former student introduced me to his daughter, whom I would now teach.  He said, “This is Dr. Wood.  She was my high school teacher.”  He then turned to me and continued to speak, “She is the only reason that Daddy finished High School because she believed I could do it.”

In that one moment, I understood the impact of my years of work with students.  Every extra hour that I had put into lesson planning and every extra effort to build relationships with students was validated.

   Dr. Wood and Superintendents   




Dr. Linda Wood - Troup County High School

2022 - 2023 Teacher of the Year


Hannah Frady - Troup County High School

2021 - 2022 Teacher of the Year

Due to COVID-19 and the changes to the TOTY Program from the Georgia Department of Education we experienced a gap year for 2020-2021 with no teacher of the year competition.   

Traveria Sewell

Traveria Sewell - Long Cane Middle School

2019 - 2020 Teacher of the Year


Randy Hardigree - LaGrange High School

2018 - 2019 Teacher of the Year







Kayla Yeargin -Troup County  High School
2017 - 2018 Teacher of the Year

2018 - 2019 GADOE State Finalist                


Jill Gay - Hollis Hand Elementary School

2016 - 2017 Teacher of the Year


Michelle Ashmore -Troup County  High School

2015 - 2016 Teacher of the Year

2016 - 2017 GADOE State Finalist


Nichelle Wimbush -Troup County  High School

2014 - 2015 Teacher of the Year


Jorine Silcox - Franklin Forest Elementary

2013 - 2014 Teacher of the Year


Jessica Holstun - Long Cane Elementary

2012 - 2013 Teacher of the Year


Lori Slay - LaGrange High School

2011 - 2012 Teacher of the Year


Katie Bush Willis - Berta Weathersbee Elementary

2010 - 2011 Teacher of the Year


Rochelle Pompey - Whitesville Road Elementary

2009 - 2010 Teacher of the Year


Ruth Anne Wilson-Jones - West Side Magnet School

2008 - 2009 Teacher of the Year


David Curtis - Callaway High School

2007 - 2008 Teacher of the Year

2008 - 2009 GADOE State Finalist


Denise Giddens - Franklin Forest Elementary

2006 - 2007 Teacher of the Year


Jacque Hornsby - West Side Magnet School

2005-2006 Teacher of the Year


Robbie Henderson 

2004 - 2005 Teacher of the Year


Kimberly Myers - Hollis Hand Elementary

2003 - 2004 Teacher of the Year


Cathy Sargent - Troup High School

2002 - 2003 Teacher of the Year


Pippy Rogers  

2001 - 2002 Teacher of the Year


Cathy Otto 

2000 - 2001 Teacher of the Year


Carol Cain 

1999 - 2000 Teacher of the Year


Bonnie Dudley  

1998 - 1999 Teacher of the Year


Gloria Adcock 

1997 - 1998 Teacher of the Year


Alexis Paul  

1996 - 1997 Teacher of the Year


Nancy Mann 

1995 - 1996 Teacher of the Year

A special thank you to the Troup County Archives and F.C. Johnson, III for providing the following additional Teacher of the Year Information:  Georgia Department of Education began the Teacher of the Year Program in 1971. Troup County School System named their first Teacher of the Year in 1976 and the LaGrange City Schools started the program in 1985. 

1994   Kenneth R. Moore   LaGrange
1994   Faye Benjamin   Troup
1993   Jacqueline Beasley Hornsby   LaGrange
1993   Karen Riddle   Troup
1992   Gale Chase Chance   LaGrange
1992   Mikki Wilson Wallace   Troup
1991   Polly Hutchinson   LaGrange
1991   Joyce Harris Linch   Troup
1990   Dale Poston Allen   LaGrange
1990   Jane Humphries   Troup
1989   Alexis White Paul   LaGrange
1989   Dariel Wayne Daniel   Troup
1988   Bill Parsons   LaGrange
1988   Brenda Clifton   Troup
1987   Curmilla Furgerson   LaGrange
1987   Margaret Lane Duttera   Troup
1986   Cathy Redden   LaGrange
1986   Nancy Everitt   Troup
1985   Bonnie Funderburk Dudley   LaGrange
1985   Cindy Marsh Estes   Troup
1984   Thomas Whatley   Troup
1983   Wylene Rholetter   Troup
1982   Gail Joiner   Troup
1981   Carolyn Slaughter Bean   Troup
1980   Susan Robertson Carlisle   Troup
1979   Ida Florine Tarver Jones   Troup
1978   Barry Nathan Jackson   Troup
1977   Annie Lucille Tarver Greene   Troup
1976   William Dunagan   Troup


From time to time, prior to 1971, various groups have recognized a local teacher as “Teacher of the Year” but it was not this official program.  They did not do it consistently year to year.  Among those, the following were noted:

The LaGrange Education Association for a few years recognized “Teachers of the Year:” Isma Swain, 1956; Louise Owen, 1957 ; and Lillian Clark, 1958.

WLAG Radio Station held a contest for “Teacher of the Year” in 1960 and selected Stella Bradfield.

The LaGrange Teachers’ Association recognized “Teachers of the Year” a couple of times: Louise Allen Epps in 1956; Bertha Brabham in 1964; and Wellie S. Wilburn in 1965.

In 1970, the Key Club at LHS recognized Mrs. Lollie Traylor Love (Mrs. J. R.) at LaGrange High School as Teacher of the Year.


The Teacher of the Year program is designed to recognize excellence in teaching. The process includes:

  • Selection of the nominees from each school by their peers
  • Nominees submit anonymous written essay applications
  • Community and system judges read the anonymous applications
  • Three finalist are chosen
    • One Elementary
    • One Middle and
    • One High School Teacher
  • Three judges from outside TCSS 
    • Score written essay applications and resume
    • Observe classroom teaching
    • Interview finalist

TOTY Recognition

Teacher of the Year Recognition:

  • All nominees are recognized before the TCBOE
  • Coke United presents a plaque to each nominee
  • Nominees receive a supplement 
  • Surprise Patrol visits three finalist bringing flowers and gifts
  • Board recognition and icebergs presented to finalist
  • Reception is hosted for all nominees and finalist
  • Three finalist receive an additional supplement 

The nominees and finalist are featured throughout the school year through social media, web stories, news articles, videos and their favorite teaching moments.