Tracey Pendley, fourth-grade teacher from Burgess-Peterson Elementary School, was named Atlanta Public Schools’ (APS) 2018-2019 District Excellence in Teaching Award Winner (also known as Teacher of the Year) during the APyeS! Awards held Wednesday, Nov. 7, at Benjamin E. Mays High School.
Pendley started her teaching career in 2009 and has been a fourth grade teacher at Burgess-Peterson for the past four years. Central to her teaching philosophy is that her students learn to love their mistakes. She is a recipient of the 2018 Atlanta Families Award for Excellence in Education. She started a 4-H club with the award money and plans to send as many students as possible to Rock Eagle Project Achievement and Clover Leaf Camp.
“Tracey Pendley began teaching because she truly believes in the power of education to create choice-filled lives for our students, and she is deeply committed to ensuring educational equity for every child,” said APS Superintendent Dr. Meria Carstarphen. “I am so grateful we have effective and passionate teachers like Tracey who are committed to excellence for all children. Tonight’s APyeS! Awards were about recognizing that excellence and honoring those teachers, education leaders and partners who are leading our transformation and making it possible for our students to succeed. I am proud to work with each of these professionals and partners. They are the difference-makers who inspire hope every day.”
Pendley began teaching because she believes in the power of education and is deeply committed to social justice and educational equity. Therefore, it is no surprise that one of her proudest achievements is mentoring student teachers and serving as a Cooperating Teacher with CREATE to prepare future teachers to magnify the power of education.
As the APS Excellence in Teaching Award Winner, Pendley will represent APS in the Georgia Teacher of the Year Awards next spring. APS is home to the 2012 Georgia Teacher of the Year, Dr. Jadun McCarthy; 2013 Georgia Teacher of the Year Finalist, Elisha Gray; 2014 Georgia Teacher of the Year Finalist Tamika N. Ball; 2015 Georgia Teacher of the Year Finalist Rita L. Simmons; and 2017 Georgia Teacher of the Year Finalist Jerry Kosoff.
Finalists for this year’s award included, Dan Adam Lloyd, an 8th grade English teacher and Chair of the English Department at Sutton Middle School, where he has taught for 11 years; and Stephen Lawrence, an award winning Orchestra teacher who also serves as the Fine Arts Department chair at his alma mater, North Atlanta High School, where he has been teaching for seven years.
Candidates for APS Excellence in Teaching Award are nominated by their respective schools. APS then selects an elementary, middle school and high school Excellence in Teaching winner from a list of semi-finalists to compete for the district-wide honor. All school-level Excellence in Teaching Award winners were recognized during the special awards ceremony along with other distinct awardees.
Other 2018-2019 APyeS! honorees included:
- Principal of the Year – Crystal Jones, Beecher Hills Elementary School
- Assistant Principal of the Year – Barry Blackmon, Douglass High School
- Students First Award – Azuree Walker, International Baccalaureate Specialist, West Manor Elementary School
- Schools First Award – Marki Dixon, Senior Procurement Officer
- GO Teams – Excellence in Leadership – Artesza Portee, principal, Sylvan Hills Middle School
- 2018-19 Outstanding GO Team – North Atlanta High School GO Team
- District Partner of the Year – Delta Airlines
- Cluster Partner Awards
- Carver Cluster – Loews Atlanta Hotel
- Jackson Cluster – The Bert Show
- Douglass Cluster – Men of the Eta Omega Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
- Washington Cluster – Peachtree Road United Methodist Church
- Therrell Cluster – Bill Selmon
- Mays Cluster – Father Charles Fischer
- Grady Cluster – MailChimp
- North Atlanta Cluster – LaAmistad
- South Atlanta Cluster – Cigna Insurance Company
- Excellence in Family Engagement Award – Mamie Jackson, Forest Hills Academy
- Family Engagement Leadership – The Latino Association for Parents for Public Schools