Deal announces second round of Innovation in Teaching Competition winners

October 31, 2013
Gov. Nathan Deal today announced two winners in round two of the Innovation in Teaching Competition, a recognition and reward opportunity for teachers who demonstrate innovative teaching strategies. Deal also called for educational leaders around the state to submit nominations of innovative and effective teachers for round three of the competition. 
 
“The Innovation in Teaching Competition gives us the opportunity to recognize and reward some of our most effective teachers and share their practices with students and other educators across the state,” said Deal. “I am pleased that we will be able to continue this competition with a third round, and I encourage educational leaders to submit the names of teachers who fit these criteria to the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement.”
 
The two winners in Round Two are listed below.
 
Deborah Goodman
Kindergarten
Shallowford Falls Elementary School
Cobb County Schools
 
Tara Dougherty 
First Grade
Kingsley Charter School
DeKalb County Schools
 
Round one winners, announced in August, included Charles Trader (St. Mary’s Middle School in Camden County), Amanda Cavin (Unity Grove Elementary in Henry County), and Sarah Welch (Fannin County High School).
 
Each teacher will receive a $2,000 stipend, and each teacher’s school will receive $5,000. In addition, Georgia Public Broadcasting will film the winning educators teaching in their classrooms in fall 2013 and winter 2014 as well as interview them about how they prepared their lessons. The videos, along with the educators’ supplementary materials, will be provided to other educators, parents, institutions of higher education and other stakeholders through the state’s longitudinal data system and other means.
 
Teachers from across the state submitted applications to the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement (GOSA) for the second round this fall. Educators submitted a lesson plan demonstrating innovative and effective strategies to teach reading, English language arts and/or mathematics and made a two-minute video describing their qualifications for the prize. To be eligible to apply, teachers must have either received an “exemplary” rating through the Teacher Keys Effectiveness System (TKES), Georgia’s comprehensive teacher evaluation instrument, or received the principal’s recommendation as one of the most highly effective teachers in the school. Educators who teach in school systems that do not yet use TKES could also select one teacher to apply with the endorsement of the school principal. 
 
Today, GOSA also posted a nomination form for round three of the competition. For this round, GOSA is calling for nominations of effective and innovative educators throughout the state. GOSA will review the nominations and follow up with select candidates for more materials, including, but not limited to: (a) a unit plan, (b) supplementary materials, and (c) a two-minute video demonstrating their presence on camera. 
 
School administrators, instructional coaches, district staff, or GaDOE staff serving a teacher’s school can submit nominations and find more information about the competition on GOSA’s website. Nominations for round three are due by Nov. 21, and winners will be announced by Jan. 10.
 
Administered by GOSA, the Innovation Fund is a $19.4 million competitive grant opportunity created through Georgia’s Race to the Top plan. The state will use the Innovation Fund to determine best practices in innovative programming related to STEM education, applied learning, and teacher and leader recruitment and development to influence future education policy efforts. GOSA has awarded $16.4 million to 23 different projects in three grant cycles. As interest in the Innovation Fund grows, the state will seek contributions from philanthropic organizations, nonprofits and businesses as a continuing source of start-up capital for promising innovations. More information about the Innovation Fund, including the Innovation in Teaching Competition nomination form, can be found on the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement website.