WORTH COUNTY, Ga. - John R. Tibbetts, an an economics teacher at Worth County High School, has been named the 2018 Georgia Teacher of the Year.
With this honor, Tibbetts will serve as an advocate for public education in Georgia, State School Superintendent Richard Woods announced Monday.
Tibbetts graduated from the United States Military Academy and went on to serve for 21 years as an officer in the U.S. Army. During his time in the military, he was stationed overseas for more than five years, including service in Desert Storm, Turkey, and Afghanistan.
Following his military service, Tibbetts spent time working in the private sector but ultimately decided to pursue a teaching career– first at Tift County High School and later at Worth County High, where he currently teaches economics.
“As much as any subject taught in high school, economics is part of the very fabric of our daily lives and relevant to what is currently ongoing in the world around us,” he wrote in his Teacher of the Year application. “Teaching economics provides the opportunity to affect our students’ livelihoods, quality of life, and their futures.”
Dominique Vidal Nichols, a teacher at Westside High School in Bibb County Schools, is the runner-up for the 2018 Georgia Teacher of the Year award.
The program began in 1971 and recognizes an exceptional public school teacher each year based on nominations from local school superintendents.
A panel of judges including teachers, past winners of the award and administrators chose 10 finalists out of 150 applicants. Judges then listen to speeches and hold interviews with the finalists.
The teacher chosen for the recognition works with the Department of Education for a full year, including appearances at conferences and giving workshops to fellow educators.
Last year's winner, Casey Bethel, teaches Advanced Placement physics and biology and physical science at a high school in Douglasville.