An Award in Excellence

The National Teacher of the Year is a nationally recognized professional award in the United States. The program began in 1952, as a project by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), and aims to reward excellence in teaching. Every year, nominations are made by students, principals, teachers and administrators for the School, County and State Teacher of the Year awards.

The profiles of the winners from 34 Paulding County Schools are submitted to a selection committee made up of school district personnel, Foundation board members and community leaders. The committee then reviews the data for each candidate and selects the one winner. The winner is chosen based on their biography, nominations and other supporting references. The award is traditionally presented at the Annual Star Banquet on the first Tuesday in May each year. At this banquet, we recognize all 33 school based teacher of the year nominees and reveal the District Teacher of the Year winner.

Although there are no clearly defined requirements the committee looks for:

  • The ability to inspire children from all backgrounds and abilities
  • The respect of colleagues, students, and parents.
  • Activity In The Community
  • The ability to fulfill the duties of the award

The District Wide teacher of the year is then submitted to the State wide selection committee with the opportunity to represent our school district on a state wide platform. Paulding County has traditionally been known for having finalists in the Statewide selection and our very own Marc Pedersen from Paulding County High school was selected as the Georgia Teacher of the Year for 2017.

The Employee of the Year program highlights contributions of non-teaching school employees who support the Employee of the Year education of our students in preschool through grade twelve. The overall purpose of the program is to pay tribute to the tireless efforts of our District’s outstanding school employees who are not eligible for recognition as a Teacher of the Year (TOTY). These employees are vital staff members who play key roles in creating a district and school environment that promotes our District’s vision and mission.

Teachers & Employees of the Year Celebration April 18!

Join us for an in-person celebration as we honor the Paulding County School District’s 2023 Teachers & Employees of the Year.

Tuesday, April 18th – 9:00am

Our event will be hosted by the GreyStone Power Corporation located at 3400 Hiram Douglasville Hwy, Hiram, GA 30141

(In order of appearance)

Erica Woodall – Ragsdale Elementary
Jill Kostick – Shelton Elementary
Krista Toomey – Abney Elementary
Kimberly Dobbins – Burnt Hickory Elementary
Kelley Holmes – Nebo Elementary
Laurie Medlock – McGarity Elementary
Christi Luce – Allgood Elementary
Allie Riddle – Panter Elementary
Mandi Kirk – Hiram Elementary
Pam Mueller – Union Elementary
Tara Dobson – Northside Elementary
Brooke Samples – New Georgia Elementary
Kimberly Poll – Baggett Elementary
Lindsey Barron – Dugan Elementary
Christine King – Dallas Elementary
Jacqueline Gordon – Russom Elementary
Alyssa DeJesus – Poole Elementary
Jason Brown – Roberts Elementary
Tracy Corbitt – Hutchens Elementary
Ben Williams – South Paulding Middle
Carol Parker – Scoggins Middle
Katrina Munson – Dobbins Middle
Malissa Hogan – East Paulding Middle
Jennifer Maloney – Austin Middle
Laura Hartman – McClure Middle
Juan Lauzurica – Moses Middle
Jessica Overhalser – Herschel Jones Middle
Kelley Nunn – P.B. Ritch Middle
Charlotte Holmes – Hiram High
Chelsea Schmidt – New Hope Education Center
Kyle Chapman – East Paulding High
Toni Freeman – South Paulding High
Jeffrey Morris – North Paulding High
Jordyn Kerr – Paulding County High

Employees of the year:

James Eric Bailey – Transportation
Alicia Nicole LaVigne – School Support Services
Gail Custer – Nutrition
Andrea Williams-Gault – School Instructional Support
Wanda Weaver – Maintenance, Operations and Facilities
Amanda Inman – District Support Services
Sonja Nelson – School Leadership



Adrienne Pawlowski– Hutchens Elementary
Ann Hill – Roberts Elementary
Candis Robertson – Abney Elementary
Claudia Amaya – New GA Elementary
Cres Summers – McClure Middle
Danielle Long – Russom Elementary
Dawn Rickeard – Dallas Elementary
Gidget Price – South Paulding Middle
Heather Casey – McGarity Elementary
Jason Kinsey – Scoggins Middle
Jeremy Parks – South Paulding High
Joel Boyd – Moses Middle
Josh Payne – Herschel Jones Middle
Karyn Hunt – Panter Elementary
Kayla Smith – Austin Middle
Paula Kennedy – P.B. Ritch Middle
Kim Irvin – Dugan Elementary
Kim Johnson – Hiram Elementary
Kyla Fields – Union Elementary
Laura Turner – Northside Elementary
Lauren Betancourt – Burnt Hickory Elementary
Lauren Marrone – North Paulding High
Mary Cameron – Ragsdale Elementary
Megan Hermann – Baggett Elementary
Mende Feeley – Allgood Elementary
Michelle Lokhorst – East Paulding High
Morgan Cochran – East Paulding Middle
Morgan Wagy – Poole Elementary
Nicole Chapman – Nebo Elementary
Rachel Stancel – Hiram High
Rebecca Chandler – Dobbins Middle
Robert Tackett – Paulding Virtual
Sarah Thompson – Shelton Elementary
Soraiya Ali – Paulding County High
Dr. Jeanette Benoit – Paulding County High School
Janet Oglesby – South Paulding High School

Employees of the year:

Christopher Chambers – Transportation
Robin Gehr – SMMS
Joseph Westmoreland – P.B. Ritch
Becky Hester – SPHS
James Long – NHEC
Julia Penate – PCHS
Christina Kennedy – District Support Services


Donna Stone – Abney Elementary
Jennifer Bryant – Allgood Elementary
Ashleigh Aveni-Plunkett – Baggett Elementary
Brittany Pitner – Burnt Hickory Elementary
Amy Wilder – Dallas Elementary
Jessica Carter – Dugan Elementary
Ryan Mohammed – Hiram Elementary
Lyn Thompson – Hutchens Elementary
Gina Adkins – McGarity Elementary
Heather Dos Santos – Nebo Elementary
Mark LeGear – New Georgia Elementary
Jonathan Smith – Northside Elementary
Elizabeth Andrews – Panter Elementary
Carley Peters – Poole Elementary
Carolyn Lash – Ragsdale Elementary
Niccole Goss – Roberts Elementary
Tyra Kelly – Russom Elementary
Pamela Williams – Shelton Elementary
Daphne Cochran – Union Elementary
Jacob Runyon – Austin Middle School
Kim Vinson – Dobbins Middle School
Beth Irby – East Paulding Middle School
Alexis Jacobson – Herschel Jones Middle School
Tim Reuss – Sammy McClure Middle School
Ashly Keadle – Moses Middle School
Brianne Johnson – Ritch Middle School
Charlie Beecham – Scoggins Middle School
Ashley Ball – South Paulding High School
MSgt. Stanley Parker – East Paulding High School
Shonta Pauldin – Hiram High School
Ronnie Otto – North Paulding High School
Dr. Jeanette Benoit – Paulding County High School
Janet Oglesby – South Paulding High School
Employees of the year:

Tara Jackson – School Nutrition

Jeanie Chastain – Maintenance, Operations, and Facilities

Tamara Vickers – School Support Services

Lyn Pitts – School Instructional Support

Julie Ragsdale – District Support Services

Doug Ferrell – Transportation

Greg Musgrove – School Leadership


Melissa Belanger – Abney Elementary
Nicole Folsom – Allgood Elementary
Elizabeth Walker – Austin Middle
Lauren Taylor – Baggett Elementary
Sheri Sullivan – Burnt Hickory Elementary
Christine Elgaen – Dallas Elementary
Lynda Wiggins – Dobbins Middle
Lauren Thomason – Dugan Elementary
Breanne Cox – East Paulding High
Bonnie Vest – East Paulding Middle
Kaitlin Woods – Herschel Jones Middle
Sarah Napier – Hiram Elementary
Bethany Pruitt – Hiram High
Heather Austin – Hutchens Elementary
Chantelle Autenrieth – McClure Middle
Carla Galeazzo – McGarity Elementary
Angela Brewer – Moses Middle
Scarlett Rackley – Nebo Elementary
Amelia Smith – New Georgia Elementary
Kira Parker – North Paulding High
Jordan Ridings – Northside Elementary
Jennifer Godbout – P.B. Ritch Middle
Mary Goggins – Panter Elementary
Dean Petti – Paulding County High
Destine Nelson – Poole Elementary
Meagyn Wilkie – Ragsdale Elementary
Nadine Labossiere – Roberts Elementary
Chad Beauseigneur – Russom Elementary
Amanda Pruitt – Scoggins Middle
Julia Roberts – Shelton Elementary
Rhnea Mahaney – South Paulding High
Steven Johncox – South Paulding Middle
Stacey Davis – Union Elementary

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