“She is a very outgoing and creative teacher,” said Sophie Watkins, a former student of Katie Blum, who has been named Sugar Hill Elementary’s Teacher of the Year for the 2020-2021 school year.
Born in Greenville, South Carolina, Ms. Blum moved to Georgia in 2015. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and elementary education, as well as a master’s degree in theory and practice in teacher education and elementary education from the University of Tennessee. She attended Georgia College and State University for her specialist degree in education.
Ms. Blum started teaching in 2015, working with various grades at Riverside Elementary School. In 2016, she transferred to Sugar Hill Elementary, where she has been teaching second graders ever since.
At home, Ms. Blum enjoys watching Tennessee and Clemson football. She lives with her husband, Joshua Blum, and their dog Nellie.
Ms. Blum has a tremendous passion for teaching.
“For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to be a teacher. I was very blessed to know my dream career from a very early age,” she said.
Ms. Blum encourages a very energetic classroom. She believes in incorporating kinesthetic learning in her lessons.
“I also believe that children are most successful in active classrooms that incorporate … movement, songs and hands-on activities,” she said, adding she likes to dress up herself and the classroom to help “bring my students’ learning to life.”
When asked about her teaching philosophy, Ms. Blum shared that genuine relationships are key.
“Children learn and thrive most when they know their teacher truly loves, respects and supports them in all of their academic and personal adventures,” she said.
Creating these relationships with her students is her favorite part of teaching.
“The relationships that I nurture with my tiny humans makes the long hours and challenging work worth every second,” she said.
Ms. Blum says that being recognized as Teacher of the Year by her peers has been a great honor.
“I am so blessed to work with some of the most incredible educators at the sweetest school in Georgia,” she said.
On Nov. 10, 2020, Gwinnett County Public Schools announced that Ms. Blum is one of six finalists in the running to win the district’s Teacher of the Year award. There were 139 educators that were named Teacher of the Year for their respective schools. The field was narrowed down to 25 semifinalists last month. The Gwinnett County Public Schools Teacher of the Year will be announced on Dec. 10, 2020.
Congratulations Ms. Blum!