Atlanta metro area’s Gwinnett County Public Schools has selected Oglethorpe alumna Emily Treuman Heend ’07, a mathematics teacher at Phoenix High School, as one of only six finalists for the 2016 Gwinnett County Teacher of the Year.
Emily, who was a mathematics major at Oglethorpe and a member of Omicron Delta Kappa honor society, is one of the two high school teacher finalists. The winner from the three categories—elementary, middle and high school—will be announced at an awards ceremony on November 10th.
The candidates were nominated by their colleagues at their local schools. An awards committee comprised of teachers, central office personnel and administrators then considered semifinalists’ applications and answers to a set of questions to narrow the competition to six finalists. Committee members visited finalists’ classrooms and conducted rigorous interviews with each educator. The committee looked at original teaching methods, studied the teacher’s teaching philosophy, reviewed special class projects the teacher has initiated, and considered the influence the teacher has had on the teaching practices of colleagues. They also reviewed each teacher’s educational degrees and civic activities.
Emily says her mother Diane Treuman, a retired teacher, was her greatest role model, and Dr. John Nardo, her college advisor and favorite professor at Oglethorpe, an inspiration. Dr. Nardo recalls the first time he saw Emily light up the room with her “wonderful teaching presence” in one of his mathematics classes, when Emily and classmate Anne Balter Atalay ’07 were tasked with presenting a lesson to help the class better understand concepts on topology.
“I hope that my enthusiasm will inspire some of my students to pursue teaching and mathematics, just as my college professor did for me,” said Emily, who has spent her entire eight-year career in GCPS. “In doing so, I know that I can impact not only this generation of students, but many more to come.”
Contributors: Shane Pruitt and Mary Rinaldi Winn (Alumni Relations)