Burke's B.E.S.T. » Teacher of the Year

Teacher of the Year

For the Burke County Public Schools District, District Teacher of the Year is not a competition to choose the school district's best teacher. It is only intended to recognize a teacher who demonstrates the qualities all educators admire and exhibits the qualities of the district’s belief statements,  Build positive relationships, foster Unwavering perseverance, prepare students to be Ready for life after high school, put Kids first, and provide an Engaging learning environment and opportunities. The finalist represents all of the outstanding teachers who are part of the BCPS family.


Each year, we honor those teachers who stand out and lead the way for other excellent educators to Make BURKE Work. Through contributions from our valued Partners in Education, each year we are able to shower all of our Teachers of the Year and their families with a pre-game reception and amazing rewards for going above and beyond the call for excellence. It is during this game’s half-time show we announce the District’s Teacher of the Year.


The process all begins in the classroom and the selection of a teacher representative from each of our five schools.  The five school-level Teachers of the Year complete an online application based on the Georgia State Teacher of the Year competition, which is scored by a panel of judges.  The applications are anonymous so that there is no opportunity for bias. The judges score the applications on a 100 point scale. 

As the new school year begins, the panel of judges, who are educators themselves from outside our school district, participate in a 30-minute classroom observation, followed by a 20-minute interview with each teacher.  All observations are done on the same day. Afterward, the three judges decide who the top candidate is based on what they saw in the classroom and heard in the interview.

After the winner is announced at the football game, he/she has until December to tweak the application to be entered in the competition for Georgia's State Teacher of the Year, which is announced in the Spring.

Preparing Students for their Best Future
1985-1986 Linda Murray SGA High School
1986-1987 Linda Bailey Blakeney Elementary School
1987-1988 June Gill Waynesboro Elementary School
1988-1989 Shirley Carlyle Blakeney Elementary School
1989-1990 Linda Dunaway Burke County High School
1990-1991 Eugenia Baxley Waynesboro Elementary School
1991-1992 Alice MacArthur SGA Elementary School
1993-1994 Judy Gatliff Waynesboro Elementary School
1994-1995 Joil Bradshaw Burke County High School
1995-1996 Suzanne Railey SGA Elementary School
1996-1997 Anne Wright Waynesboro Elementary School
1997-1998 Rick Umpleby Burke County High School
1998-1999 Brenda Jones Burke County High School
1999-2000 Julie Roberts Waynesboro Primary School
2000-2001 Cherry King SGA Elementary School
2001-2002 Jean Williams Burke County High School
2002-2003 Cynthia Borgan Burke County Middle School
2003-2004 Tonya Torek Burke County Middle School
2004-2005 Constance Parker SGA Elementary School
2005-2006 Lynda Moore Burke County High School
2006-2007 Andy TenHuisen Burke County High School
2007-2008 Tonya Torek Burke County High School
2008-2009 Katie Mobley SGA Elementary School
2009-2010 Wende Dickey SGA Elementary School
2010-2011 Anna Herrington SGA Elementary School
2011-2012 Stan Dodson Burke County High School
2012-2013 Debra Tanksley Burke County High School
2013-2014 Lisa Wiggins SGA Elementary School
2014-2015 Justin Russell Burke County High School
2015-2016 Whitney Smith Blakeney Elementary School
2016-2017 Christy Palmer Waynesboro Primary School
2017-2018 Sandy Baulos Waynesboro Primary School
2018-2019 Corina Stan Waynesboro Primary School
2019-2020 Kenesha Reddick Burke County Middle School
2020-2021 School Closure  
2021-2022 Jami Walden Waynesboro Primary School