Welcome to the Georgia Teachers of the Year (GTOY) Association website. Our organization is open to all Georgia Teachers of the Year and Georgia Teacher of the Year finalists. We are committed to improving the quality of education in the State of Georgia by recognizing outstanding teachers and providing rich professional development opportunities. Among our initiatives, each year, we provide award the Gale Samuels Award to help an outstanding teacher implement a dynamic classroom experience and we also provide a dedicated and worthy educator a scholarship to attend the U.S. Space and Rocket Center’s Space Camp. Annually, we are also proud to partner with the Georgia Department of Education’s Excellence Recognition Division for the Georgia Teacher of the Year Recognition event, wherein we recognize the district Teachers of the Year, engage in meaningful professional development for attendees, and help announce the Georgia Teacher of the Year. We thank you for supporting the GTOY Association and visiting our site.

Jadun McCarthy, JD
President, Georgia Teachers of the Year Association
2012 Georgia Teacher of the Year

Ernest William Lee, II,


Ernest William Lee, II, an International Baccalaureate History, U.S. Government and Civics teacher from Windsor Forest High in Savannah, has been named the 2016 Georgia Teacher of the Year. Lee was a lawyer for over 20 years before becoming a teacher. He also worked as an instructor for the Georgia Departments of Revenue and Human Resources, and the Technical College System of Georgia, where he operated a mobile technology training lab, more


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2016 Georgia State Teacher of the Year Finalists:

  • Blair Inabinet
  • Ernest William Lee II
  • Gary Allen Jones II
  • Kimberly Lester
  • Brian Patrick


  • Holly Canup
  • John Wood
  • Alexandra Vlachakis
  • Patrick Logan
  • Brian David Butler