Contact: Dean Jackson Office of Public Information
Phone: 770.254.2736
Fax: 770.254.2807
Email: dean.jackson@cowetaschools.org

Friday, April 26, 2019

Ruth Hill’s Ashley Nelson is Coweta County’s 2019 Teacher of the Year

Ruth Hill Elementary School 2nd Grade Teacher Ashley Nelson was announced as the 2019 Coweta County School System Teacher of the Year (TOTY) Wednesday night, at the annual TOTY ceremony hosted by the Coweta County Board of Education.

Nelson was chosen as Coweta’s top teacher from among 31 Teachers of the Year and from among three finalists including Elizabeth Deganian, a Self-Contained Special Education teacher at Newnan Crossing Elementary School, and Lindsey Haralson, a 5th Grade Math and Science at Brooks Elementary School. The three finalists were selected from among 31 Teachers of the Year at Coweta’s public schools.

The annual TOTY ceremony was hosted by the Coweta County school board and the Newnan Pilot Club at the Nixon Centre for Performing and Visual Arts. The annual program honors some of Coweta County’s most accomplished educators, and also featured 2018 Teacher of the Year Josh Tate. Tate teaches music at Elm Street Elementary School and was the school system’s nominee for state Teacher of the Year, and served as the keynote speaker for Wednesday’s TOTY ceremony.

Ruth Hill’s Nelson began her teaching career in 2007 at Welch Elementary, where she was named as Welch’s Teacher of Year. She moved to Massachusetts in 2010 to become the lead teacher of a self-contained emotional-behavioral program for Southeastern Massachusetts Educational Collaborative. In 2013 she returned to Georgia to teach at Ruth Hill Elementary. Nelson leads Ruth Hill’s Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) team and the school’s Soaring Eagles Girls Running Club.

Nelson “expresses her love and care through maintaining high expectations for herself and others and not wavering from the goal of ensuring that all students experience success,” said Ruth Hill Principal Aaron Corley. “Ms. Nelson is a wonderful example of the unwavering dedication, passion, and commitment of Coweta's finest teachers.”

Coweta County’s 2019 Teachers of the Year from each school are:

Michele Eubanks, 2nd Grade (Arbor Springs Elementary)

Maria Wright, 7th Grade Science (Arnall Middle)

Amber Nixon, 1st Grade (Arnco-Sargent Elementary)

Stacy Swenney, 1st Grade (Atkinson Elementary)

Lindsey Haralson, 5th Grade Math and Science (Brooks Elementary)

Jori Anderson, 1st Grade (Canongate Elementary)

Christie Bailey, 8th Grade English/Language Arts (Central Educational Center)

Diana Harper, 7th Grade Social Studies (East Coweta Middle)

Danielle Ratzlaff, 9-12th Grade Math (East Coweta High)

April Deleshaw, 5th Grade Science and Social Studies (Eastside Elementary)

Wendi Whitehead, Kindergarten (Elm Street Elementary)

Missy Busby, 6th Grade Math (Evans Middle)

Sandy Titshaw, 5th Grade English/Language Arts (Glanton Elementary)

Deborah Donaldson, 1st Grade (Jefferson Parkway Elementary)

Tina Bouma, 7th Grade Math (Lee Middle)

Angela Norred, Science (Maggie Brown Middle)

Peggy Davenport, 6th Grade English/Language Arts (Madras Middle)

Stephanie Sibley, Kindergarten (Moreland Elementary)

Elizabeth Deganian, Self-Contained Special Education (Newnan Crossing Elementary)

Shirley Wold, Science (Newnan High)

Michele Robberts, Science (Northgate High)

Mariah Hollis, Music (Northside Elementary)

Stephen Simon, REACH (Poplar Road Elementary)

Ashley Nelson, 2nd Grade (Ruth Hill Elementary)

Michael Styles, English/Language Arts Study Skills (Smokey Road Middle)

Kendra Sewell, Special Education/Autism (Thomas Crossroads Elementary)

Jennifer Eriksen, 2nd Grade (Welch Elementary)

Heather Wyman, 4th Grade English/Language Arts (Western Elementary)

Deborah Derden, 1st Grade (White Oak Elementary)

Amanda Kyzer, 4th Grade (Willis Road Elementary)

Amy Leonard, English/Language Arts (Winston Dowdell Academy)

Teachers of the Year are selected by their fellow certified educators at each school for the quality of their teaching, professional development, teaching philosophies and methods, community involvement, contributions to education, and their ability to inspire students of all backgrounds and abilities to learn. Honorees represent grade levels from Kindergarten through 12th grade and a range of educational disciplines including elementary grade instruction, math, special education, gifted education physical education, sciences, arts, language arts and media specialists.

Wednesday’s program was hosted by the Coweta County Board of Education and the Newnan Pilot Club. Board of Education Vice-Chairman Beth Barnett served as master of ceremonies, and the 2019 finalists were recognized by Brooks Principal Jillian Andrew, Newnan Crossing Principal Terri Lassetter, and Ruth Hill Principal Aaron Corley.

Teacher of the Year Nelson Deganian Haralson Tate 

Among those honored at the Coweta County School System’s 2019 Teacher of the Year program Wednesday night were, left to right, 2019 TOTY Ashley Nelson, finalist Elizabeth Deganian, finalist Lindsey Haralson, and 2018 TOTY Josh Tate.