Taylor Richardson, a 5th grade teacher at Burgess-Peterson Elementary School, was named the Atlanta Public Schools 2023-2024 APyeS! Awards Teacher of the Year. Photo: Atlanta Public Schools ©
On a cool and somewhat rainy evening in November, over 800 Atlanta Public Schools (APS) educators and support staff gathered in their formal best, along with family and friends, to celebrate and recognize the outstanding educational achievements of their colleagues.
Set amidst the moody backdrop of the Atrium Ballroom at the Atlanta Marriot Marquis, the APyeS! Awards Gala was a “Night with the Stars” featuring a reception, dinner, and the musical entertainment of some of APS’ most talented students.
WSB-TV Channel 2 Action News This Morning anchor Fred Blankenship served as the evening’s energetic master of ceremonies, setting the tone for a joyous occasion. APS Interim Superintendent Dr. Danielle S. Battle and Atlanta Board of Education Chair Eshé P. Collins greeted the attendees, praising their hard work and dedication to APS’ 50,000 students.
The pinnacle of the evening occurred when Taylor Richardson, a 5th grade teacher at Burgess-Peterson Elementary School, was named the APS 2023-2024 District Excellence in Teaching Award Winner (also known as Teacher of the Year).
Taylor expressed her appreciation for the honor and thanked her family and co-workers for their support.
“For me to be recognized as the Teacher of the Year is just incredible,” said Taylor. “I am just so honored right now and grateful for my team at Burgess Peterson Academy, who has led me to this point, and of course, everyone in Atlanta Public Schools who push me to be an amazing educator daily.”
Taylor’s prestigious distinction will advance her to the Georgia Department of Education’s Teacher of the Year Awards, where she will represent APS next spring.
APyeS! Awards winners were selected from an amazing pool of candidates, each of which embodied the APS 7 Core Values, which include putting students and schools first, committing to teamwork, focusing on communication, demonstrating respect for each other, being accountable, acting with integrity, and embracing and driving change.
Among the victors were Dr. Zawadaski Robinson, named the 2023-2024 Principal of the Year and Kristy Reese, named the 2023-2024 Assistant Principal of the Year.
APS students from Continental Colony Elementary School, Dunbar Elementary School, and South Atlanta High School provided the entertainment at the 2023-2024 APyeS! Awards. Photos: Atlanta Public Schools and Allison M. Slocum ©
Additional award recipients include the following:
- O’Neisha Smith | Students First Winner
- Tommy Clay | Schools First Winner
- Danny Ellis II | Service First Winner
- Jay Bland | GO Team Excellence in Leadership Winner
- Sarah R. Smith Elementary School | Outstanding GO Team Winner
- Gigi Hines | Excellence in Family Engagement Parent Liaison Winner
- La Amistad Atlanta | Excellence in Family Engagement Community Winner
- Burgess-Peterson Academy | Excellence in Family Engagement School-Based Winner
- Atlanta Hawks | APS District Partner of the Year
- Tyler Perry Studios | Carver Cluster Partner Winner (in support of Finch Elementary School)
- IHG Hotels and Resorts | Douglass Cluster Partner Winner (in support of William M. Boyd Elementary School)
- Kilpatrick Townsend | Jackson Cluster Partner Winner (in support of Barack and Michelle Obama Academy)
- NCR | Midtown Cluster Partner Winner (in support of Hope-Hill Elementary School)
- Westrock | Mays Cluster Partner Winner (in support of Beecher Hills Elementary School)
- Westside Table | North Atlanta Cluster Partner Winner (in support of Bolton Academy)
- The Council on Alcohol and Drugs, Inc. | South Atlanta Cluster Partner Winner (in support of South Atlanta High School)
- Ben Hill United Methodist Church | Therrell Cluster Partner Winner (in support of Fickett Elementary School)
- Westside Future Fund | Washington Cluster Partner Winner (in support of M. Agnes Jones Elementary School)
Guests enjoyed the musical talent of several student entertainers including South Atlanta High School’s Jonathan LaFluer and Josiah LaFluer, Continental Colony Elementary School’s Chorus Ensemble and Dunbar Elementary’s Student/Teacher Jazz Combo.
The APyeS! Awards were supported by a generous cohort of sponsors, including Family First Credit Union, Atlanta Ballet, Atlanta Dream, Cirque Du Soleil, Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta, Atlanta Hawks, Illuminarium, Atlanta Beltline, Mercedes-Benz USA, The Roof at Ponce City Market, St. Regis Atlanta, Parker Poe, and RAI.
Please see the slideshow and video below for an event photo recap of the APyeS! Awards.
Photos from the 2023-2024 APyeS! Awards on November 11, 2023. Photos: Atlanta Public Schools and Allison M. Slocum ©
To view the complete APyeS! Awards photo gallery, click here.