By Alison Witherspoon-Brown
Atlanta native and Burgess-Peterson Academy (BPA) teacher Tracey Pendley has been named Georgia’s Teacher of the Year. This honor follows a long list of awards and accomplishments. In 2010, she received the Achieving Excellence Award from the Academy for Urban School Leadership for her work in improving academic outcomes for students. In 2012, she received an award for leadership in Chicago. In March of 2018, she won the Atlanta Families Award for Excellence in Education, receiving $7,500 for professional development and to enhance a student achievement project. She won Teacher of the Year at Burgess in April 2018, Elementary Teacher of the Year for Atlanta Public Schools in October 2018, and the Districtwide Excellence in Education Award in November 2018. As Georgia Teacher of the Year, she has promised to use this statewide platform to give voice to issues of social justice and educational equity, and to encourage teachers to always bring the magic to their classrooms.
As Georgia Teacher of the Year, she has had the honor of traveling the state to meet with incredible teachers, students, and educational stakeholders. She shares her message of teacher impact, equity, and magic. What she has enjoyed most is the opportunity to learn from and meet other passionate educators. The biggest change this year has been not having a class of her own. However, she still serves as an instructional mentor and interventionist, and leads the 4-H club at Burgess-Peterson, where students are always glad to see her in the halls. She continues to be a student favorite and one of our most impactful teachers.
The classroom teacher is the backbone of the American education system. No one person has a greater impact on the education of a child than does the teacher who creates the primary learning and instructional environment. As Teacher of the Year, District Teacher of the Year, and now the Georgia Teacher of the Year, Pendley exemplifies what it means to be a dedicated, creative, and intentional educator. The BPA family is proud of all that she has accomplished.