Gwinnett County Public Schools recently released its list of top 25 semifinalists for the district’s 2025 Teacher of the Year Award. Six teachers from the north Gwinnett area made this year’s cut.

Three local high schools, two middle schools and two elementary schools in the local area are represented in the semifinals. 

The local teachers that made the top 25 list are Ms. Jessica Ashley, Ms. Treva Coates, Ms. Lindsay Davis, Ms. Mandy Gunter, Mr. David Novelly and Ms. Michelle Ruhl.

Ms. Jessica Ashley, a life science teacher at Lanier Middle School has been in education for 18 years. She has spent the last six years teaching in Gwinnett County schools. Ashley said, “I lead with empathy. In my classroom, every person is valued and respected. I strive for equity and access by implementing the most effective strategies for all learners to excel academically, behaviorally, socially, and emotionally.”

Ms. Treva Coates is the veteran among the six teachers representing north Gwinnett area schools with 26 years in education. She has spent the last six years teaching in Gwinnett County. The Osborne Middle School STEM Connections teacher said, “”In my classroom each and every student is engaging in learning experiences that promote critical thinking, collaboration, and other employability skills needed to become college and career ready.”

North Gwinnett High School’s AP Seminar and Internship teacher, Ms. Lindsay Davis has 18 years of teaching experience, all of which have been in Gwinnett County. “”I connect my school and community, providing real-world experiences and career preparation for my students, sharing the incredible things happening in our classrooms, and facilitating students making an impact by giving back to the community,” said Davis.

Ms. Mandy Gunter has spent her entire 19-year career in education teaching in Gwinnett County. The music teacher at Burnette Elementary School in Suwanee said, “My music classroom is a place of dynamic learning that integrates diverse teaching strategies and focuses on meeting the socio-emotional needs of every student. My students find joy in learning and strive for excellence with new tasks!”

Mountain View High School AP Environmental Science and AP Biology teacher Mr. David Novelly has spent the last five years of his 17 years teaching in Gwinnett County. “I strive for excellence, provide equitable learning opportunities for all students, consistently demonstrate and lead others towards effectiveness, and create a positive learning environment founded on empathy,” said Novelly.

Ms. Michelle Ruhl from Sugar Hill Elementary almost has as many years in the education field with 23 years under her belt. Of those 23 years, she spent all but one year in Gwinnett County. The computer science teacher said, “In my classroom, I inspire students to think creatively, solve real-world problems and be inclusive. I want my students to see themselves as the art of future innovation.”

Congratulations to each of these six teachers for making the semifinals for the GCPS 2025 Teacher of the Year Award.

Featured photo:

Front Row:Mandy GunterLindsay DavisHalie RiosCharlie HollingsheadSheng XiongMegan Handy, and Treva Coates.

2nd Row:Trevon LamarMichelle RuhlJessica AshleyJenny EthridgeJenna Cloninger, and Emily Rogers.

3rd Row:Dina-Marie TostoJ. Michael RawlinsDegoldyne Francois-UlceusDavid NovellyHeather KaneLuz Augustin, and Jenny Cooper.

4th Row:Jessie HezlepDr. Wendy Hardge DyerMichael PayenChandler Watson,andCourtney Guess.

Photo by Glenn Martin of Glenn Martin Photography, Inc.

Verified by MonsterInsights