Sugar Hill Elementary School teacher Katie Blum has been named runner-up for Georgia Teacher of the Year for 2023.

The honors were announced by State School Superintendent Richard Woods during a banquet Saturday evening, April 30, in LaGrange, where Bartow County music educator Michael Kobito, an AP music theory teacher and high school band director at Woodland High School, took the top honor.

Blum is a second grade teacher and has been teaching at Sugar Hill Elementary since 2016. She was named Gwinnett County Public Schools’ 2021 Teacher of the Year.

“I was shocked when I found out the news,” Blum said of being named a finalist for Georgia Teacher of the Year. “It feels very surreal, and I am just soaking in all of the joy. I am so incredibly grateful for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. … I’m praying that God uses me to shine a positive light on education, Sugar Hill Elementary, Gwinnett County, and above all else, my past and present students.”

Blum was one of 10 finalists selected from a pool of applicants who all previously were named their school district’s Teacher of the Year. A panel of judges that included teachers, past Georgia Teacher of the Year honorees, state and local administrators, community leaders and others selected the finalists based on the strength of their application responses. Finalists then met with a panel of judges during the month of March to participate in formal interviews.

Read a past Q&A with Blum here.

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Deanna Allen has more than 15 years of experience working for print and online media publications, from starting out as a community reporter to working her way up to evening editor and copy...

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