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Georgia’s Christy Todd named finalist for National Teacher of the Year

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2024 Georgia Teacher of the Year Christy Todd – a music technology teacher at Rising Starr Middle School in Fayette County Public Schools – is one of four finalists for the 2024 National Teacher of the Year, the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) announced today.

Todd, who has spent the past year serving as a voice for public education as the 2024 Georgia Teacher of the Year, will compete for the national honor along with three other teachers from Alaska, New Jersey, and Tennessee.

“I could not be prouder of our Georgia Teacher of the Year, Christy Todd, and I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this phenomenal honor,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “Christy expands students’ horizons and prepares them for potential careers in Georgia’s growing creative industries by combining technology with the fine arts. Her creativity, commitment, and skill are gifts to her students in Fayette County, and her outstanding advocacy for students and teachers have been gifts to the state of Georgia this year. She is the ideal candidate to represent the profession as the 2024 National Teacher of the Year, and I have no doubt she will represent our state with distinction.”

The four finalists announced today will go on to conduct interviews with the National Teacher of the Year Program’s Selection Committee. CCSSO will announce the 2024 National Teacher of the Year this spring, and that individual will spend the next year serving as an ambassador and advocate for all teachers and students across the U.S. states, territories, and District of Columbia.

“I am honored and humbled by this opportunity to represent Georgia as a 2024 National Teacher of the Year finalist, and want to thank my family, colleagues, students, mentors, and community who have been by my side every step of the way,” Todd said. “This work is not mine alone, and I’m overjoyed to shine a light on the dedicated educators who are shaping students’ futures every day here in Georgia. I believe every child has a creative superpower and as teachers, we can build connections to unlock their creativity, deepening learning across all subject areas. That’s the message I’ll continue to share as a national finalist.”

About 2024 Georgia Teacher of the Year Christy Todd

Christy Todd, the 2024 Georgia Teacher of the Year, is a music technology teacher at Rising Starr Middle School and founder of Fayette County Public Schools’ Community for Creativity (CFC) initiative. Through the CFC program, students learn to create songs, podcasts, videos, audiobooks, and more, which they then release through the school’s label, Hall Pass Entertainment.

Todd’s commitment to building partnerships has opened doors for her students and deepened connections with the community. To address student wellbeing during the pandemic, she led the development of a schoolwide Make Kindness Normal podcast, engaging more than 500 students across subject areas and learning formats – in-person, virtual, and hybrid – widening the possibilities for student response and reflection. She also launched a unique music collaboration between fine arts and special education classrooms that has impacted more than 10,000 students over the last 15 years.

Previously, Todd was a chorus director whose choirs performed at events throughout the state. She is a published researcher, honor choir clinician, and founding member of the Story Arts Collective, a group of education and industry leaders committed to growing Georgia’s creative workforce.

Before teaching, Todd worked in business development in the nonprofit sector, and she now draws from that experience to build connections between students, colleagues, families, and communities. She is a 2013 Grammy Music Teacher of the Year Quarterfinalist, the 2016 Georgia Middle School Association Teacher of the Year, and holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Shorter College and a Master of Music Education from Florida State University.

The Georgia Teacher of the Year takes a one-year sabbatical from the classroom to serve as an advocate for public education in Georgia, speaking to the public about the teaching profession and serving as an ex-officio member of the State Board of Education.

About the National Teacher of the Year Program

Run by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), the National Teacher of the Year Program honors exceptional teachers across the country identified by their states and territories as teachers of the year by celebrating their work in and outside the classroom and, through a one-of-a-kind professional learning program, helps them amplify their instructional practices as well as their voices and empowers them to take part in policy discussions at the state and national level. Each year, states, U.S. extra-state territories, the District of Columbia, and the Department of Defense Education Activity select outstanding educators to serve as State Teachers of the Year. From a cohort of 55 State Teachers of the Year, the National Teacher of the Year Selection Committee, comprising 16 individuals and education organizations, selects finalists based on written applications.

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