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TCSS Teacher of the Year

The 2023-2024 System Teacher of the Year winner is … Dr. Zelda Kitt.  Dr. Kit teaches 9th - 12th Grade English and Language Arts at The HOPE Academy. Congratulations Dr. Kitt! 
She shared with us one of her favorite teaching moments:

"My most memorable teaching moment was when students learned to write five-paragraph essays, and several male students feared the assignment. I tried different strategies and shared examples to no avail. They had little confidence and refused to try. Finally, I introduced them to the "Learning Garden," where they showed excitement and engagement and began writing. Although it took longer to finish the assignment, finishing it was monumental. Students learned much more than I originally planned, and I learned that sometimes the unwritten curriculum can set you on a path for the written one.


Layna Kemp - Long Cane Elementary (resigned from position)
2023 - 2024 Teacher of the Year


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

TOTY Recognition

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 finalists 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 finalists
  • 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 finalists
  • Three finalists receive an additional supplement 

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


Archived Teacher of the Year Winners (pre 2016)