A selection committee comprised of Gwinnett County Public School educators narrowed the field from the 26 semifinalists chosen in September.
Dunlap says that her teaching philosophy continues to evolve as she gains new experiences and takes advantage of professional learning opportunities. However, she says her ultimate goal as a media specialist/teacher is to teach students and teachers to become thinkers.
She explains, "In order to stimulate this meta-cognition, I am a proponent of inquiry-based learning. I provide many opportunities for students and teachers to solidify their problem-solving processes by posing thought-provoking questions and scenarios… I encourage the sharing of thinking processes and problem-solving techniques to encourage and stimulate lifelong learning."
Mrs. Dunlap supports the students and teachers at Simpson Elementary as the school’s media specialist, a position she has held since 2012. Prior to becoming the school’s media specialist she was a third grade teacher at the school (2008-12). Her teaching experience also includes work outside the district at Thomas Crossroads Elementary and Elm Street Elementary.
Mrs. Dunlap received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Auburn University, and her master’s degree from Loyola University.
The other five finalists are:
- Heather Watkins, a first-grade teacher at Mulberry Elementary
- Lissette McRea, a language arts teacher at Berkmar Middle
- Ashley Allgood, a Latin teacher at Brookwood High
- Hyunjin Son, an engineering teacher at Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology
- Carol Williams, a math teacher at Summerour Middle
All 130 local school Teachers of the Year will be recognized during that time.
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