Cobb County School District Recognizes 24 Teachers for Their Commitment to STEM Education

The Cobb STEM Distinguished Educator Awards program recently recognized 24 Cobb County School District teachers for their outstanding commitment and dedication to STEM education in their classrooms.

“Applying for the Cobb Distinguished STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) Educator Award was important to me because not only were the standards set high to attain the title, but it also held me accountable to ensure I was doing my very best to serve K-5 students at my school when it came to the interdisciplinary teaching of STEM,” says Dr. Tamieka Grizzle, STEM lab instructor at Harmony-Leland Elementary School, and this year’s top winner.  “[It] ignited my passion and my goal to get students involved in STEM education, and I encourage all STEM educators to pursue this prestigious award.”

Teachers apply for the annual award by submitting a portfolio documenting the various STEM experiences they have participated in, and provided for students in their classrooms throughout the past 18 months.  Teachers compete to earn points from a list of activities that are STEM-related.  Examples include attending a professional learning conference or STEM presentation, conducting a STEM activity with a business, college, or community partner, or sponsoring a STEM-related event at their school.  Modeled after the Georgia Department of Education STEM Educator Laureate Program, the Cobb County STEM & Innovation Department verifies the submissions and awards points based on contest criteria.

Award winners receive prizes, with the top earner – this year, Grizzle – receiving a Sphero robot for use in the classroom, along with a trip to a Georgia educator conference of their choice.  Other prize winners include Palmer Middle School teacher Tami McIntire, who partnered with Cobb EMC on a heat loss STEM project, and Tritt Elementary’s Alexa Dean, whose students took part in a Skype call with a Weather Channel meteorologist to learn more about the science of weather. With a location in Marietta, nexAir, LLC, a leading distributor of atmospheric gasses and welding supplies, sponsors the awards.

“This program is designed to recognize exceptional K-12 teachers in our district who have made a commitment to meaningfully implementing STEM in their classroom,” says CCSD’s STEM Professional Learning Specialist Tania Pachuta.

Grizzle, like the other winners, is happy that she decided to enter the competition.

“It is a wonderful feeling and very rewarding to be recognized for your hard work, says Dr. Grizzle.”

For more information about STEM in Cobb, visit


List of Award Recipients (* denotes top five point-earners)

Top Winner

*Dr. Tamieka Grizzle, Harmony-Leland Elementary

Gold Level Award Winners (earned 750 badge points)

Maria Braswell, Teasley Elementary

*Ginny Buttram, Hayes Elementary

*Chelsea Chandler, Shallowford Falls Elementary

Stacy Pitts, Vaughan Elementary

Austin Smith, Simpson Middle

*Susanne Smith, East Side Elementary

Debby Taylor, Mountain View Elementary

Saundra Watts, Barber Middle

*Richard White, Griffin Middle

Gwen Youngs, Kemp Elementary

Silver Level Award Winners (earned 550 badge points)

Leonard Calvin, Barber Middle

Doreen Campbell, Mountain View Elementary

Alexa Dean, Tritt Elementary

Annette Simpson, McCleskey Middle

Angela Smith, Mountain View Elementary

Jzsanettae Webster, Milford Elementary

Angela Wilson, Tritt Elementary

Martha Yosko, Bells Ferry Elementary

Bronze Level Award Winners (earned 350 badge points)

Tami McIntire, Palmer Middle

Leigh Nielsen, Mabry Middle

Kim Sigsbee, Bells Ferry Elementary

Linda Wade, Lovinggood Middle

Kerri Waller, Simpson Middle