In 2014, roughly half a million teachers left the field of education in the United States. Of the many new teachers who enter the field each year, 40-50% of them will leave the classroom within the first five years of their career.
The Atlanta Families’ Awards for Excellence in Education (AFAEE) understands how critical teacher and leader quality is to ensuring that every child receives an excellent education. We know that excellent educators must remain in classrooms and schools in order to elevate the profession as a whole, and to attract like-minded educators to our region.
To that end, our mission is to elevate public education by identifying excellent educators and empowering them to expand their impact.
The first awards were presented in 2006 at a celebratory event at the Atlanta Speech School. Ten educators were declared winners, each receiving a $4,000 prize, half for a school or classroom project they had proposed during the application process and half for their personal use.
In 2007, five principals and 10 teachers garnered awards and were granted $7,500 each: one-third of the money was to fund a classroom or school project, one-third to pursue a professional development opportunity, and one-third for the winner’s personal use.
2008 – 2010
The Atlanta Families hosted the third annual event recognizing 13 outstanding educators in 2008; in 2009, the Atlanta Families honored 15 excellent educators. There were 16 award recipients in 2010, our largest cohort to date.
2011 – 2012
In 2011, we were more resolved than ever to accomplish our mission of recognizing the best and brightest educators in APS. The Atlanta Families honored 10 winners from traditional and APS charter schools. In 2012, we celebrated 8 more winners, two principals and six teachers.
We celebrated our 2013 cohort of ten winners in a new location befitting their outstanding achievements: The Carter Center’s Cecil B. Day Chapel.
In 2015, the AFAEE expanded its impact to include 5 districts in Metro-Atlanta, including Atlanta Public Schools, Cobb County Schools, DeKalb County Schools, Fulton County Schools, and Gwinnett County Public Schools. The Atlanta Families Awards for Excellence in Education became incorporated by the state of Georgia and received our official status as a 501 (c)3 tax-exempt organization. These accomplishments allow us to continue expanding our impact and building capacity for our future endeavors. We also expanded our WSB-TV media partnership to include a 9-month campaign that will feature each winner on commercials and billboards across the region.
Above all, the Atlanta Families remain committed to honoring educators who work diligently with the best interests of students in mind. In 2016, we look forward to awarding another class of winners!
In 2015, the AFAEE expanded its impact to include:
Atlanta Public Schools, Cobb County Schools, DeKalb County Schools, Fulton County Schools and Gwinnett County Public Schools.
- more than 96% AFAEE Award Winners retired from or are still impacting education /78 respondents
- 86% AFAEE Award Winners Still work in or retired from our partner districts /78 respondents
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Shelby Senzer, Babiators
Dr. Rubye Sullivan, Atlanta Public Schools
Ted Griffith, Direct Hits Publishing
Katie Michaels McDowell*, Atlanta Public Schools
Molly Eskew, Civic leader
Simms Jenkins, Brightwave Marketing
Ed Michaels*, McKinsey (retired)
Prescott Miller, RoundHill Capital
Ryan Shepard, City of Atlanta
Megan Watson, Civic leader
Kori Sanchez Smith, Executive Director
Justin Bradshaw, Development Coordinator
John Ahmann, Atlanta Committee for Progress
Cannon Carr, Corner Capp Investments
Erroll Davis, Past Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent
Will duPont, Think Interactive
Rob Fortson, McGuireWoods
Shannon Gaggero, A Striving Parent Blog
Shayna Gaspard, Nonprofit Consultant
Robyn Kranz, Brownieland Pictures
Kenny Kraus, Atlanta Public Schools
Cynthia Kuhlman, CF Foundation, Inc.
Jolie Maxwell, SunTrust
Kelley York, Metro RESA
Debbie Cate, Gwinnett County Schools
Samantha Evans, Fulton County Schools
Dr. Sherry Everett, DeKalb County Schools
Amber Stewart, Atlanta Public Schools
Dr. Grant Rivera, Cobb County Schools