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2012 Georgia Teacher of the Year Named
Jadun McCarthy from Northeast Health Science Magnet High School in Bibb County Selected

MEDIA CONTACT: Matt Cardoza, GaDOE Communications Office, (404) 651-7358, mcardoza@gadoe.org - Follow us on Twitter and Facebook

May 6, 2011 -- Jadun O. McCarthy, an English Language Arts teacher from Northeast Health Science Magnet High School in Bibb County, has been named the 2012 Georgia Teacher of the Year.
  
Mr. McCarthy was named the winner of the award at the annual Georgia Teacher of the Year banquet held at the Georgia World Congress Center. As Georgia Teacher of the Year, he will serve as an advocate for public education in Georgia.
  
"Jadun McCarthy is going to be a great representative of the teaching profession in Georgia," said State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge. "He has such a compelling story about how education has impacted his life."
  
A product of the Bibb County School District, Mr. McCarthy initially was going to pursue a career in law. The night of his graduation from the University of Georgia School of Law, he realized that, instead of working in a system that locks up people, he would rather follow in the footsteps of the people who provided him the tools to be successful: his teachers.
 
"I wanted to have the same influence on someone that many of my wonderful teachers had on me. I wanted to stop some young man or young woman from stumbling onto the wrong path," says Mr. McCarthy. "I wanted to be a teacher."
 
Mr. McCarthy serves as the Academic Bowl Team Head Coach, chairs the school's 'Bridging the Gap' Eight-Step Process Achievement Initiative team, and is a member of the Georgia Association of Educators. Since 2007, he has been recognized each year as one of Northeast High School's End of Course Test Start Teachers. He also serves as the Junior and Senior Class Advisor, coordinates the Junior/Senior Prom and all Senior activities, including the annual Senior Class Trip to Orlando. Students have recognized him as the 2008, 2009, and 2010 Advisor of the Year.

As Georgia Teacher of the Year, Mr. McCarthy will represent Georgia teachers by speaking to the public about the teaching profession and possibly conducting workshops and programs for educators. He will also compete for the 2012 National Teacher of the Year.

ABOUT THE GEORGIA TEACHER OF THE YEAR PROGRAM   
There were 154 district teachers of the year who submitted applications to become the 2012 Georgia Teacher of the Year. The applications were read by a panel of judges that included teachers, past Georgia Teacher of the Year winners and finalists, administrators, community leaders and others. Ten finalists were chosen based on the strength of his or her essay responses.
  
A panel of judges that included Pam Williams, the 2011 Georgia Teacher of the Year, did video observations and interviews. The ten finalists then gave speeches at the annual Teacher of the Year luncheon, sponsored by Georgia Power.
  
No state funds were used for the Teacher of the Year banquet. It was paid for through private donations and ticket sales.
  
Several sponsors donated money and prizes for the Georgia Teacher of the Year. The title sponsor of the Georgia Teacher of the Year program is UnitedHealthcare. Platinum sponsors included Georgia Natural Gas, AirTran Airways, and SMART Technologies. Other sponsors included Blue Bell Creameries, Georgia Association of Educators, Georgia Power, Professional Association of Georgia Educators, Keith Plaques, Apple, Inc., EdisonLearning Inc., Global Partnership Schools, The School Box, Inc., Peachtree Supplies, Georgia Teachers of the Year Association, and Chick-fil-A.

2012 Georgia Teacher of the Year Finalists (in alphabetical order by district)
Teacher, Subject, System, School

Jadun O. McCarthy, English Language Arts
Bibb County, Northeast Health Science Magnet High School

Ashlee J. Mitchell, Speech-Language Pathology
Bulloch County, Stilson Elementary School

Vicki Tarleton, Mathematics
Columbia County, Grovetown High School

Nancy Williams, Social Skills
Coweta County, Madras Middle School

Beth Sciarro, Reading
Houston County, Northside Elementary

Ivy K. Smith, Mathematics
Lowndes County, Pine Grove Middle

Christine W. Powell, Journalism, Art History and Literature
Muscogee County, Northside High School

Lisa Boyd, English Language Arts
Rockdale County, Salem High School

Melissa Webb, Second Grade
Savannah-Chatham, West Chatham Elementary School

Nancy C. Rogers, Literature
Thomas County, Thomas County Central High School