The 2018 Teacher of the Year in the Muscogee County School District will be one of these three finalists:
▪ Melanie Gouine, a fourth-grade social studies and English Language arts teacher at North Columbus Elementary School.
▪ Dawnell Jacobs, a ninth-grade literature and composition teacher at Early College Academy.
▪ Kristan Macphail, a sixth- and ninth-grade English language arts and literature teacher at Rainey-McCullers School of the Arts.
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The Muscogee Educational Excellence Foundation announced the finalists with surprise visits to their classrooms Friday.
The staff at each of MCSD’s 57 schools nominated a teacher to compete for the award. MEEF announced the nominees Jan. 31. The foundation’s selection committee members evaluated their applications and announced Feb. 22 the 10 semifinalists to interview. Then they chose the three finalists to observe teaching before they will announce the winner during the May 3 gala in the Columbus Convention & Trade Center.
MEEF’s 2018 Teacher of the Year selection committee members are chairman Warren Steele (retired senior vice president for U.S. marketing at Aflac), Carl Brown (insurance agent, C. Brown & Associates), Sheryl Green (English teacher, Jordan Vocational High School, 2015 MCSD Teacher of the Year), Kerry Hand (retired CEO of Communicorp), Donna Kemp (retired MCSD principal), Stefan Lawrence (English teacher, Carver High School, 2016 MCSD Teacher of the Year), Bridget Markwood (education consultant), Marquette McKnight (CEO of Media, Marketing and More) and Jimmy Yancey (retired Synovus chairman).
Steele explained in an email to the Ledger-Enquirer what stands about the finalists.
“First of all, selecting the top 3 was incredibly difficult, because all of the top 10 are remarkable, committed teachers who care deeply about their students,” Steele said. “But, what I say stood out among the top 3 was their extraordinary creativity in reaching all of their students with innovative approaches to delivering their lesson plans, and their depth of knowledge about what is necessary to be a successful teacher in today's classrooms.”
Early College Academy social studies teacher Shane Larkin won the 2017 award.
MEEF is a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering educational excellence by focusing on teachers who are innovative and exceptionally effective in their profession. In its 22-year history, the foundation has awarded more than $2.2 million to such educators through financial incentives in the Teacher of the Year program, the Harvard Fellows program, the MEEF Grant program, the MEEF Endowment Fund and the STEM T3 program.
If you go
What: Muscogee Educational Excellence Foundation annual gala, where the Muscogee County School District 2018 Teacher of the Year nominees will be honored and the winner will be announced.
When: May 3; reception starts at 6 p.m., dinner at 6:45 p.m.
Where: Columbus Convention & Trade Center, 801 Front Ave.
Tickets: $45; on sale March 26 through April 13 at the RiverCenter for the Performing Arts box office, 900 Broadway.
Info: Media, Marketing and More, 706-660-9702.