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Berkmar Middle School Teacher is Finalist for Gwinnett Teacher of the Year

Deborah Johnson, a math teacher at Lilburn's Berkmar Middle, is now up against five other educators for the district's top honor.

Berkmar Middle School Teacher is Finalist for Gwinnett Teacher of the Year Berkmar Middle School Teacher is Finalist for Gwinnett Teacher of the Year Berkmar Middle School Teacher is Finalist for Gwinnett Teacher of the Year

A Lilburn educator is among six finalists announced today (Oct. 16) for Gwinnett County Public Schools' Teacher of the Year.

Deborah Johnson, a math teacher at Berkmar Middle School, has spent five years in education -- all of them with Gwinnett County.

According to district press release, Johnson was working as a teaching assistant in algebra, when it dawned on her that this is what she should be doing as a career.

"During that first semester of teaching, I learned that I was given a gift: I could communicate mathematics in a manner that reached all students, regardless of ability," she said in the press release. "I saw many struggling learners grow and prosper under my guidance."

Johnson, who teaches eighth graders, received her bachelor’s degree in mathematics, and her master’s degree in teaching and curriculum, both from Michigan State University.

Other finalists include: Erica Leach of Walnut Grove Elementary, Celisa Edwards of Dacula Middle, Heidi Mikulecky of Richards Middle, Jay Nebel of Norcross High and Dean Landers of Peachtree Ridge High.

A selection committee that included 11 Gwinnett County educators narrowed the field from the 26 semifinalists to the six finalists. A total of 131 school-level teachers of the year also had previously been chosen.

Using classroom observations, among other items, the committee will choose the 2013 Teacher of the Year.

The winner receives an annual award of $1,000 and goes on to represent the district in the state competition.

That announcement will be made at a banquet on Nov. 1, 2012, at the Gwinnett Center, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway in Duluth. The program begins at 6:30 p.m.

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