CCSD Teacher Wins Statewide Education Award
Etowah High School teacher Lara McDonald, left, the current CCSD Teacher of the Year, is presented this week with the 2023 Outstanding Biology Teacher Award for Georgia by Audra Brown Ward, regional coordinator for the National Association of Biology Teachers.
A Cherokee County School District teacher has earned a statewide education award!
Etowah High School teacher Lara McDonald, who is the current CCSD Teacher of the Year, has earned the 2023 Outstanding Biology Teacher Award for Georgia!
The annual award is presented to one middle or high school teacher in each state by the National Association of Biology Teachers. Honorees are selected based on teaching ability and experience, school and community engagement and positive student-teacher relationships.
“Lara is one of the best biology teachers in the country,” association Executive Director Jaclyn Reeves-Pepin said.
A 14-year educator who teaches environmental science including AP classes, Ms. McDonald is known for her creative engaging lessons that often include classroom transformations, costumes and songs. She also sponsors numerous after-school clubs, from Dungeons & Dragons to anime to knitting to the competitive Envirothon team.
“Lara is a rockstar teacher who brings incredible energy and enthusiasm to her lessons and is an amazing encourager of her students,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said. “This past school year, our entire community learned what an exceptional educator she is, and now she’s earning the national recognition she definitely has earned. We’re so proud of Lara and all that she does every day to support our students. Congratulations and thank you!”
The award was presented this week to Ms. McDonald by Audra Brown Ward, regional coordinator for the national association. Honorees receive a one-year national association membership and gifts from award sponsors. Ms. McDonald and her fellow honorees will be recognized by the association at its annual conference in November in Maryland. Ms. McDonald will be recognized by the Cherokee County School Board and Dr. Hightower at the September school board meeting.