Peachtree City Elementary teacher is in running for Ga. top award

PTC Elementary teacher Shaylen Dixon is in running for Ga. top award.
PTC Elementary teacher Shaylen Dixon is in running for Ga. top award.

The Georgia Department of Education has announced that Fayette County’s 2017 Teacher of the Year, Shaylen Dixon of Peachtree City Elementary (photo above), is one of 10 finalists in the running for Georgia Teacher of the Year. This marks the second consecutive year that a teacher from Fayette County has been named a finalist in the state competition.

Dixon, a third grade teacher at Peachtree City Elementary, is the fifth Fayette County Teacher of the Year selected as a state finalist. The school system’s first-ever finalist was Dawn Burnette of McIntosh High (2005 county winner), followed by Shelly McLemore of Flat Rock Middle (2006 county winner), Alexandra Vlachakis of Sandy Creek High (2014 winner), and Suzette Weinhardt of Sandy Creek High (2015 winner), said school system spokesperson Melinda Berry-Dreibach.

“If Dixon wins, she will make history as the first Fayette County teacher selected as Georgia’s teacher of the year,” Berry-Dreisbach said.

Berry-Dreisbach said the 10 finalists were chosen from a pool of 150 applicants, all of whom had been previously selected as their school district’s Teacher of the Year. The applications were read by a panel of judges that included teachers, past Georgia Teacher of the Year winners and finalists, administrators, community leaders, and others. The finalists were chosen based on the strength of their essay responses.

Finalists met with a panel of judges for a formal interview and gave speeches during a finalist luncheon April 16. The winner will be announced May 19.

The 2019 Georgia Teacher of the Year will travel around the state and nation serving as an ambassador for the teaching profession. The winner will also be entered in the National Teacher of the Year competition.