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GCPS’ Katie Blum named Georgia Teacher of the Year runner-up

May 6, 2022Katie Blum

     Katie Blum, a 2nd grade teacher at Sugar Hill Elementary School and Gwinnett County Public Schools’ 2021 Teacher of the Year (TOTY), was named runner-up for the 2023 Georgia Teacher of the Year title at an event on April 30. Mrs. Blum was one of 10 finalists considered for the state’s top teaching honor.

     Mrs. Blum says being named runner-up for Georgia Teacher of the Year is by far one of the greatest honors of her career. “I have said it before, and I will continue to say it, my success throughout this TOTY adventure does not simply just reflect my own accomplishments or myself,” she says. “It truly reflects the collaboration from my colleagues, leadership at my school and within GCPS, resources made available to my students and classroom, and the overall teamwork and dedication to always do what’s best for students.”

     Mrs. Blum earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a master’s degree in Teacher Education, both from the University of Tennessee. She holds a specialist’s degree in Teacher Leadership from Georgia College and State University. Mrs. Blum has been a teacher in Gwinnett since 2016. In addition to teaching 2nd grade, she is a co-leader of the new Teacher Mentoring Program at Sugar Hill and a mentor to second-year teachers.

     That support for peers and dedication to mentorship is key to Mrs. Blum’s education philosophy. “Education is such a collaborative effort, and we all shine brighter when we ALL work together,” she says “I believe that my success and this amazing award is a prime example of that collaboration.”

     At the April 30 event, Michael Kobito, an AP Music Theory teacher and high school band director at Woodland High School in the Bartow County School System, was named the 2023 Georgia Teacher of the Year. Mr. Kobito will serve as an ambassador for the teaching profession in Georgia and will compete for the National Teacher of the Year title.