Atlanta educator named Georgia's Teacher of the Year

Georgia has named an Atlanta fourth grade teacher the state's 2020 Teacher of the Year.

At a ceremony Saturday night, Georgia School Superintendent Richard Woods announced that Tracey Nance Pendley, a teacher at Burgess Peterson Academy, was the Teacher of the Year.

Pendley has been teaching as the fourth grade teacher and mentor teacher for the CREATE teacher residency program at the Burgess Peterson Academy for six years. Prior to that, she worked at Toomer Elementary and as a third grade teacher with Chicago Public Schools.

“Tracey’s Georgia Teacher of the Year recognition speaks to her love and passion for our students and for teaching and to the tremendous impact she is having on our students’ lives and on their future,” said APS Superintendent Meria Carstarphen. “We are so proud of Tracey for being a shining example of what teaching excellence is and should be, and we are grateful to her for being a part of our APS family."

Pendley  is also the current winner of the Atlanta Public School's Excellence in Teacher Program and the 2018 Atlanta Families Award for Excellence in Education.

She said in a statement that she believed all students are "deserving of an education that challenges, fosters responsibility, and teaches about the world and the many possibilities for their own lives."

"I challenge students to think critically about important historical events and to draw connections between themselves and people of different races, cultures, and beliefs," she said. "I believe all students should have some magic in the classroom.” 

As the award winner, Pendley will travel in the state and across the country.

She will also be Georgia's entry into the National Teacher of the Year competition.