Governor Nathan Deal - Georgia’s 82nd Governor (2011-2019)

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Deal announces Innovation in Teaching Competition winners

August 20, 2013
Gov. Nathan Deal today announced three winners in round one of the Innovation in Teaching Competition, a recognition and reward opportunity for teachers who demonstrate innovative teaching strategies in English Language Arts and Mathematics. 
“The round one winners are among the most creative and effective teachers in our state, and I commend them for their willingness to share their practices with other educators through the Innovation in Teaching Competition,” said Deal. “We know classroom teachers have the single biggest impact on student learning, and these winning first round teachers and those to be identified in the second round of the competition will help us ensure that every student has access to a highly effective and engaging teacher.”
The winning teachers will receive a $2,000 stipend for serving as a leader to other educators, and the teachers’ schools will receive a $5,000 grant. Georgia Public Broadcasting will film the winning educators teaching in their classrooms in fall 2013 and spring 2014, and the videos and supplemental materials will be provided to other educators, parents, institutions of higher education and other stakeholders. 
The three winners in round one are listed below.
Sarah Welch
9th Grade Literature and Composition
Fannin County High School
Fannin County Schools
Charles Trader
8th Grade, Mathematics
St. Mary’s Middle School
Camden County Schools
Amanda Cavin
First Grade, Gifted, Math and ELA
Unity Grove Elementary
Henry County Schools
Deal also announced the opening of applications for the second round of the Innovation in Teaching Competition. The competition guidelines and award amounts follow the same structure as the first round. Interested teachers should access more information on GOSA’s website. Applications for round two are due by Sept. 24, and awards will be announced by Oct. 31.
To be eligible to apply, teachers must have received an “exemplary” rating through the Teacher Keys Effectiveness System, Georgia’s comprehensive teacher evaluation instrument. Educators that teach in school systems that do not yet use TKES may apply with the endorsement of their school principal. One applicant is permitted per school for schools that do not use TKES. 
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 RFP, can be found on the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement website.