Valdosta City School District

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VMS Teacher, Cody Moncrief Named 2017 Georgia Teacher of the Year Runner-Up

“Cody Moncrief is a wonderful representation of the teaching profession,” Superintendent Woods said. “Throughout the entire application process, his selfless, student-focused mindset was constantly on display. I am grateful to him for his tireless work on behalf of Georgia’s children and I’m pleased to recognize him as the 2017 runner-up for Georgia Teacher of the Year.”

In his application, Mr. Moncrief described the impact of education on his own life, and his intentional decision to make an impact in the areas of highest need.

“I chose to teach middle school, which is usually the toughest age for most kids,” he said. “I chose to teach math, which is the hardest or least-liked subject for most students. I wanted to teach at a school that really had a need. I wanted to be the positive part of kids’ lives. I sought to be a role model that they might not have at home like many teachers and coaches had been for me.”

Mr. Moncrief describes his classroom philosophy as one founded on engagement, relationships, and content mastery.

“They are my kids because I get to know my students and create positive relationships with them,” he said. “I learn their personalities because we talk and create an open sharing environment. They answer honestly in class because I encourage it. They are respectful because I am respectful…it is all about my students and that means that each year I need to know them.”

Mr. Moncrief is a Georgia Tech GIFT fellow, a team leader and math department head, and a mentor for new and student teachers. He holds bachelor’s degrees in middle grades mathematics/science and administrative services from Valdosta State University and a master’s degree in middle grades mathematics from Walden University.

2017 Georgia Teacher of the Year Finalists (in alphabetical order by district)
Teacher, Subject, System, School 

Martha Villanueva Milam, AP Chemistry, Chemistry
Coweta County, East Coweta High

Casey M. Bethel, AP Physics, AP Biology, Honors Physics, Biology, Physical Science (2017 Teacher of the Year)
Douglas County, New Manchester High

Heather Cocke, English Language Arts
Effingham County, Ebenezer Middle

Marlo Miranda, Automotive Technologies
Forsyth County, Forsyth Central High

Heather McConnell, Special Education
Gainesville City, Gainesville Middle

Jennifer Taylor, Science
Harris County, Harris County Carver Middle

Sara Jones Wilder, Fourth Grade
Lowndes County, James L. Dewar Elementary

Dr. Debra Russell, AP Biology, Magnet Biology, Anatomy and Physiology
Rockdale County, Rockdale Magnet School for Science and Technology

Michelle Courtwright Ashmore, AP U.S. Government, Comparative Religion and Economics
Troup County, Troup County Comprehensive High

Joseph Cody Moncrief, Mathematics (2017 Runner-Up)
Valdosta City, Valdosta Middle