Bartow County music teacher named state’s top educator – WSB-TV Channel 2

BARTOW COUNTY, Ga. — A high school band director and AP Music Theory has been named the state’s Teacher of the Year.

Michael Kobito from Woodland High School in Cartersville was named the 2023 Georgia Teacher of the Year by State School Superintendent Richard Woods at a banquet Saturday night.

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“Michael Kobito is an outstanding educator who exemplifies both student-centered decision-making and the role of the fine arts in providing a world-class education to students,” Superintendent Woods said. “I’m proud to recognize him as the 2023 Georgia Teacher of the Year, and look forward to working with him to elevate the teaching profession and advocate for Georgia’s public schools.”

Kobito oversees four concert bands, a 200-member marching band, a basketball pep band, a private lessons institute, jazz band and winter guard, in addition to teaching AP Music Theory,

The marching band under his direction has been invited to march in the National Cherry Blossom Parade in Washington, DC and the London New Year’s Day Parade in 2023.

Kobito says his approach to teaching includes reinforcing students’ abilities and opportunities to reach their potential instead of the obstacles.

“We teach in a world that forces kids to be comparative to the point of detriment, whether it is through social media, online entertainment, or other factors that increase the level of scrutiny for what would usually be considered missteps,” Kobito wrote in his Georgia Teacher of the Year application. “Many of the students in our classes are afraid to try because they feel they aren’t as smart or skilled as their peers. In my classroom, from the very start, I reinforce our classroom philosophy: every student’s contribution is important, and every student can learn.”

Kobito will now be considered during the selection process for the 2023 National Teacher of the Year.

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The other finalists include:

  • Katie Blum, 2023 Runner-Up – Second Grade Teacher, Sugar Hill Elementary School, Gwinnett County Public Schools
  • Ashley Anglin, First Grade Teacher, Elm Street Elementary School, Rome City Schools
  • Julie Caraballo, Seventh Grade Language Arts Teacher, JR Trippe Middle School, Vidalia City Schools
  • Laura Floryance, First Grade Teacher, Sawyer Road Elementary School, Marietta City Schools
  • Susan Howard, K-5 STEM Teacher, Lanier School for Inquiry, Investigation, and Innovation, Hall County Schools
  • Vicki Knox, Fifth Grade Mathematics Teacher, Deer Chase Elementary School, Richmond County School System
  • Chelsea Leming, Fifth Grade Teacher, Indian Knoll Elementary School, Cherokee County School District
  • Lisa Seegar, Fifth Grade Science Teacher, Britt David Magnet Academy, Muscogee County School District
  • Jesse Smith, CTAE Teacher, Rockdale Career Academy, Rockdale County Public Schools


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