Katie Holmes was named Columbia County’s Teacher of the Year on Thursday night during a banquet at West Lake Country Club.
With the title, the first-grade teacher at Baker Place Elementary School is now eligible to become the Georgia Teacher of the Year. Finalists for the state honor will be named in February and a winner chosen in May.
Holmes is the first Teacher of the Year from Baker Place Elementary because this is the school’s first year of eligibility in the countywide program.
For her accomplishments, Holmes won several prizes, including $500, a year lease for a new Mercedes-Benz C250 and gift cards.
Holmes, an educator for five years, was among five finalists nominated by a panel of educators from outside the school system.
The other finalists were Lakeside High School history teacher Norm Cox, River Ridge third-grade teacher Mandy Guley, Stevens Creek third-grade teacher Angie McDaniel and Greenbrier High School science teacher Barry O’Neill.
Each district finalist received $300, an iPad 2 and other prizes.
Jennifer Pressley, of Brookwood Elementary School, was recognized as the county’s Media Specialist of the Year. Pressley received $300, a Hewlett-Packard computer and two subscriptions for Symphony Orchestra Augusta’s Pops at the Bell concerts.
The school system also honored 27 Teachers of the Year from other county public schools. Each was given $150.
Since 1988, Columbia County has produced eight state Teacher of the Year finalists.