Marc Pedersen, a science teacher at Paulding County High School, was named the district winner. He said he was filled with emotions when the award was revealed.
“I started to tear up. It is hard to believe,” Pedersen said.
He was chosen from a group which included all school-level teachers of the year in the district. They also were honored at last week’s ceremony.
Pedersen will go on to compete for the 2013-14 state Teacher of the Year award.
This year the Paulding Education Foundation, in conjunction with the district, organized the event at the airport’s terminal building May 7. The event was a success, said Amy Mollohan, executive director of the foundation.
A highlight video about the teachers was used to announce the winner.
“At the last minute, Clark Maggart [executive director of human resources] decided to let the video do the reveal,” Mollohan said.
After the video ended the attendees gave Pedersen a standing ovation as he went forward to receive his award.
Pedersen said, “I can’t wait to go back and share the news with my students.”
As he was leaving the school, students he had taught throughout his eight years lined the hallways with banners wishing him luck, he said. Pedersen said he was proud to be bringing the award to his school.
“Prior to becoming a teacher, I was a wildlife biologist,” he said. “I feel like I bring my biological background into the classroom.”
He teaches ninth- and 10th-grade science, and also teaches classes in the district’s magnet school, the Academy of Science Research and Medicine.
Pedersen said he wanted to thank his wife, Tricia Pedersen, who is a science teacher at East Paulding High School. She was her school’s Teacher of the Year last year.
The event was not only a celebration but also a fundraiser. Sponsors gave $5,000 to put back into the district, Mollohan said.
“We were able to put on an event of this level because of our sponsors,” she said.
Through sponsor donations, Pedersen took home $1,700 worth of prizes.