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Buford City Schools special education teacher Maggie Pruitt has been selected as a finalist for the 2022 Georgia Teacher of the Year award. 

Pruitt, who is one of 10 finalists for the honor, serves as the self-contained special education teacher at Buford High School, where she advocates for the success of all students, no matter their ability level. Her classroom includes students from ninth through 12th grade with a curriculum that focuses on a well-rounded preparation for the possibility of independence after graduation.

“I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to represent Buford City Schools as their Teacher of the Year, but being selected as one of the finalists for the 2022 Georgia Teacher of the Year is an incredible honor,” Pruitt said. “Buford City Schools has given me the opportunity to do what I love, share a classroom with the greatest students, be influenced by teachers who are far more deserving of this honor than myself and be encouraged by the administration that supports my program and the work we do. To say that I am lucky is an understatement.”

Pruitt said her family and the experience she had “growing up with a brother with very involved educational and medical needs” helped to shape her into the educator that she is today. Students should be evaluated on more than just test scores and not to place limits based upon those scores. Pruitt instead bases things on her students’ “ability to put forth the maximum effort and demonstrate a heart for others.”

Buford City Schools Superintendent Dr. Robert Downs called Pruitt a “catalyst for innovation in our special education classes.” 

“Mrs. Pruitt continues to do amazing things at Buford,” Downs said. “We are extremely proud of her and of all her accomplishments. A well-deserved recognition on the state’s behalf …” 

Finalists for the Georgia Teacher of the Year award were chosen from applicants selected from their district Teacher of the Year from the 2021 cohort, as the program was put on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This year’s finalists will give a formal interview and deliver a speech virtually before a panel of judges. The 2022 Georgia Teacher of the Year will be announced Aug. 7, 2021.

If selected as Georgia Teacher of the Year, Pruitt will serve as an ambassador for the teaching profession and will travel the state and nation for the following school year. She will also be entered into the National Teacher of the Year competition. 

“I just want to make my students, my system, my state and my family proud,” Pruitt said of being named a finalist for the award. “I am going to keep working hard, loving others and doing my best to support my students. (To be named Georgia Teacher of the Year), that would be an honor that I would never expect and I am sharing the top 10 spots with some incredible teachers who would wear that crown well. 

“So much praise for the incredible work that educators have put in throughout the course of this school year.”

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