(Media release from the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning):

The Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) is seeking applications for Georgia’s Pre-K Program Teachers of the Year for the 2023-2024 school year. DECAL will select a winner from a local public-school system and a winner from a private child care center.

“Since its inception, Georgia’s Pre-K Program has helped more than two million children enter kindergarten better prepared to succeed,” said DECAL Commissioner Amy M. Jacobs. “The key to the Pre-K program’s success has been the dedicated teachers who engage Georgia’s four-year-old students every day. Choosing Pre-K Teachers of the Year is one way to acknowledge and thank them for their hard work and commitment.”

The application for Pre-K Teacher of the Year is available on the DECAL website home page at Completed applications must be submitted no later than 5:00 PM on March 24, 2023. Finalists will be announced in May 2023, with the winners announced in the early fall.

To be considered for Georgia’s Pre-K Program Teacher of the Year, the teacher must meet the following qualifications:

  • Must have been employed as a Georgia’s Pre-K lead teacher during the 2022-2023 school year.
  •  Must have taught as a lead teacher in a Georgia’s Pre-K classroom for a minimum of three years.
  •  Must meet Georgia’s Pre-K credential and Professional Development Registry requirements.
  •  Must be planning to continue as a lead teacher in a Georgia’s Pre-K classroom during the 2023-2024 school year.
  • Must be employed by a Georgia’s Pre-K Program provider in good standing with all programs administered by DECAL (Pre-K, Child Care Services, Childcare and Parent Services [CAPS] and Nutrition Services).
  •  Must be willing to serve as an ambassador for Georgia’s Pre-K Program. Duties may include but are not limited to public speaking, representing Georgia’s Pre-K at meetings, and modeling effective classroom practices.
  • Must be able and willing to travel as needed – including some overnight stays.
  • Must be willing to have a classroom evaluation and interview conducted if chosen as a finalist.

For more information, contact Meghan McNail, Summer Transition Program and Outreach Coordinator, at [email protected] or 770-357-4911.

This school year approximately 74,000 four-year-olds attend Georgia’s Pre-K Program. The voluntary, lottery-funded Pre-K program has been recognized as one of the top programs in the nation, based on quality standards, teacher qualifications, and enrollment. Georgia’s Pre-K Program is universal – meaning that any age eligible child residing in Georgia may attend the program regardless of family income. Georgia’s model for providing the Pre-K program is unique in that it is offered through a public-private partnership in local school systems, in private child care centers, and in other facilities.