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Pepperell Elementary educator named 2019 Floyd County Teacher of the Year

Zach Mendence FCS TOTY


Zach Mendence of Pepperell Elementary School has been named the Floyd County Schools (FCS) Teacher of the Year for 2019! Mendence is now competing for Georgia Teacher of the Year for 2020.

Mr. Mendence is in his fourteenth year as a fourth grade teacher at Pepperell Elementary, and in his third year as the Pepperell boys' varsity basketball coach. Mr. Mendence graduated from Maryville College in 2001 with a bachelor's degree and received his master's degree from Walden University in 2016. Mr. Mendence has a real passion for working with students to build motivation and a strong work ethic and to foster a belief that anything is possible inside the classroom.

“It is an indescribable feeling to get a reward like this when you put 100% effort, time, and commitment into your career,” said Mendence. “This reward is not a justification for the job that I do, but rather a confirmation that I chose a path that I was meant to do for the betterment of others.”

Other finalists were the FCS Middle School Teacher of the Year, Jennifer Scoggins from Model Middle School and FCS High School Teacher of the Year Emilia Jackson from Pepperell High School.

Mendence, Scoggins, and Jackson were among a list of semifinalists which also included Lindsey Barcomb of Armuchee Elementary School; Pebbles Wheeler of Glenwood Primary School; Jenni Stansell of Armuchee Middle School; and Candi Evans of FCS College & Career Academy.

Each school nominated an individual Teacher of the Year by May 2018. After the field was narrowed down by qualifications for state honors, eligible teachers were interviewed by a panel of community partners who then voted to select semifinalists. The semifinalists from each grade band were observed and evaluated in their classrooms by former building administrators to finalize the list of finalists.

The three finalists received surprise announcements in their classrooms surrounded by their students. All 19 school-level Teachers of the Year were celebrated with applause and certificates at the Floyd County Board of Education’s regular Board meeting for December.

Elementary School Teachers of the Year were Mary Hunnicutt (Alto Park Elementary), Lindsey Barcomb (Armuchee Elementary), Francesca Spaccia (Cave Spring Elementary), Suzanne Beaty (Garden Lakes Elementary), Pebbles Wheeler (Glenwood Primary), Shamika McClendon (Johnson Elementary), Jessie Stephens (McHenry Primary), Daniel Fincher (Model Elementary), Trina Burnette (Pepperell Primary), and Zach Mendence (Pepperell Elementary).

Middle School Teachers of the Year were Jenni Stansell (Armuchee Middle), Dewayne Pierce (Coosa Middle), Jennifer Scoggins (Model Middle), and Gordon Scoggins (Pepperell Middle).

High School Teachers of the Year were Hanna Everett (Armuchee High), Nic Hann (Coosa High), Candi Evans (FCS College & Career Academy), Rachel Jones (Model High), and Emilia Jackson (Pepperell High).