In his welcome back address to teachers and staff, Cobb Schools Superintendent Chris Ragsdale recognized the three Teacher of the Year Award winners for 2020.

Darline Douangvilay of City View Elementary School, Michelle Gottenberg of Mabry Middle School and Beth Foster of Osborne High School earned the recognition.

In previous years, Ragsdale recognized Teachers of the Year by surprising them at their respective schools. This year, as Cobb schools start the academic year remotely because of the coronavirus pandemic, Ragsdale made his surprise announcement during a remotely broadcast address to all district staff.

“I hope these people are watching,” Ragsdale said before announcing the award winners, “because we obviously didn’t tell them beforehand.”

In a news release issued on Thursday, school administrators praised the award winners.

City View Assistant Principal Brian Burnaugh lauded Douangvilay, a fifth grade teacher who previously taught at Riverside Intermediate School but is now on staff at City View, for her dedication to students and colleagues.

“Darline has a tireless work ethic and can always be found volunteering for events and lending a helping hand to her coworkers,” Burnaugh said. “She is a true servant leader.”

Gottenberg, a seventh grade English language arts teacher and the Middle School Teacher of the Year, has taught at Mabry for seven years. Mabry Principal Jonathan Tanner praised Gottenberg for her engaging content.

“She has an ability to genuinely connect with students,” Tanner said of Gottenberg. “Her dedication and drive to support the academic progress of her students and her innovative, creative lessons truly engage and inspire her students to achieve at higher levels. She is an amazing asset for our school.”

Osborne Principal Josh Morreale commended Beth Foster for her reliable and hardworking nature. Foster, the High School Teacher of the Tear, teaches history, civics and English to Speakers of Other Languages classes at Osborne.

“Beth is an amazing teacher who consistently strives to improve not just her teaching but all her interactions with students,” Morreale said. “She is equally supportive of her coworkers and willing to help with everything from strategies for completing tasks or necessary paperwork to giving ideas for classwork and projects.”

Foster said the award is an incredible honor, and she directed compliments to her students and colleagues.

“I am completely humbled but thrilled to be recognized for my hard work,” Foster said. “Any recognition belongs just as much to my students and colleagues at Osborne High School for their inspiration, encouragement, and support day in and day out. This has been such a unique experience and something I will cherish as I embrace the adventures it will bring.”

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