SCCPSS is pleased to announce that Cherie Dennis, our 2021-2022 District Teacher of the Year has been named the Georgia State Teacher of the Year for 2022. Cherie Dennis is currently in her twelfth year of teaching. She is a graduate of Georgetown University, Stanford University, Armstrong Atlantic State University, and Mercer University. She is presently an ESOL teacher at Hesse K-8 School.
Ms. Dennis was named a finalist for the honor in May. The finalists were chosen from a pool of applicants all previously selected as their school district's Teacher of the Year. The applications were read by a panel of judges that included teachers, past Georgia Teacher of the Year winners, administrators, community leaders and others. The finalists were chosen based on the strength of their essay responses.
The State Teacher of the Year recognition was held virtually this year on Saturday night, August 7, 2021. Ms. Dennis was surprised at her home during the ceremony by representatives of the Georgia Department of Education and SCCPSS Superintendent Dr. Ann Levett. “I could not be prouder to have someone as deserving as Cherie Dennis represent the talented and dedicated teachers we have throughout Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools," said Dr. Levett. “Cherie Dennis is the finest example of the extraordinary teachers found throughout our district. I am excited to witness the year ahead for Ms. Dennis as she represents not just our district, but the state of Georgia as a nominee for National Teacher of the Year."
Because the Georgia Teacher of the Year program was paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year's finalists were selected from the original 2021 cohort (those initially slated to be recognized in May 2020). This ensured that cohort would not miss the opportunity to be recognized by the statewide program.
As the 2022 Georgia Teacher of the Year, Cherie Dennis will travel around the state and nation, as COVID-19 protocols allow, serving as an ambassador for the teaching profession in Georgia. She will also be entered in the National Teacher of the Year competition.