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David Phillips of Greenbrier Middle School named Teacher of the Year!

The Columbia County School District is pleased to announce Mr. David Phillips as the 2019 Teacher of the Year! Mr. Phillips will go on to represent the district at the state level. 
 
Teachers smiling
 
David Phillips smiling inside BMW with his wife Jennifer
 

Each school’s Teacher of the Year, along with the top five finalists for the CCSD Teacher of the Year, were recognized and awarded a variety of gifts during the annual Teacher of the Year Celebration. 
 
Thanks to our generous partners at Taylor BMW, Mr. Phillips was awarded a 2020 BMW x3 to drive for one year for free. In addition, our partners at ACHS Insurance will supply car insurance coverage for the year and M.B. Jones Oil, Inc., will provide a free $500 gas voucher.

Each of the top five finalists received a plaque, $25 Sparkle Express Car Wash gift card, courtesy of Ginger and Gary Richardson; a personalized acrylic star and gift card courtesy of the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce; a Kroger gift basket, including a $175 Kroger gift card; a locally funded $500 gift from the Columbia County School District; an iPad, courtesy of Don Starrett of TransAmerica, South State Bank and Poythress and Associates; and $1,000 to purchase instructional technology for the classroom.
 
Remaining teachers will be awarded a plaque; a $25 gift certificate from Sparkle Express Car Wash, courtesy of Gary and Ginger Richardson; a locally funded $300 gift from the Columbia County School District; $1,000 for instructional technology in each classroom; and be entered into the drawing for an 18k white gold diamond pendant necklace, valued at $1,345, courtesy of Windsor Jewelers.

About the Teacher of the Year Program:
Each year, the Columbia County School District honors those teachers who stand out amongst an already overflowing field of excellent educators.

The process begins with each of our 31 schools selecting a teacher representative. Typically, schools select Teachers of the Quarter during the year, and at the end of the year, teachers select an overall winner to represent their school in the running for the District Teacher of the Year.

Next, each school-level Teacher of the Year completes an online application, similar to the Georgia State Teacher of the Year application. A panel of out of district judges then scores the applications, which remain anonymous. The top five scores are Finalists and that information is held confidentially until the August Board of Education meeting where each school's Teacher of the Year is recognized and the Five Finalists are announced.
Then the same three judges observe and interview the five Finalists. Afterward, the three judges decide who the top candidate is based upon what they observed in the classroom and heard in the interview.
The Columbia County Teacher of the Year is announced at the Teacher of the Year banquet. They have until December to tweak their application to be entered in the competition.
 
Finalists are:
 
Samaritan Bess Simmons
Lakeside Middle School
7th Grade Math, Accelerated Math, and Social Studies
 
Thomas Holtzner
Evans High School
Special Education
 
Erin Kwon
Grovetown Middle School
8th Grade English Language Arts
 
Valery Dinkins
Martinez Elementary School 
Kindergarten
(Past District Teacher of the Year winner at Harlem Middle School 2003-2004)
 
David Phillips (TEACHER OF THE YEAR!)
Greenbrier Middle School
7th Grade Science
(Past Evans Middle School Teacher of the Year winner 2012 - 2013)
 
Congratulations to all of our outstanding educators! We are so proud of your hard work and dedication to our students and their families. 
 
Top 5 Finalists for District Teacher of the Year