2014 Teacher Winner
School: Garden Hills Elementary School—Atlanta Public Schools
Tiffany Barnes began her teaching career through the Urban Alternative Preparation Program offered by Georgia State University. During her first year of teaching, Mrs. Barnes earned a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education. She has since gone on to serve in the Atlanta Public School system for 14 years. Mrs. Barnes has spent the last ten years teaching first grade at Garden Hills Elementary. Teaching first grade inspired Mrs. Barnes to ignite a love for literacy throughout her school. For the past three years, she has challenged all students at Garden Hills Elementary to read 1 million words in one school year. Since her challenge began, an average of 40 students a year have achieved this goal, on every grade level – even kindergarten! Mrs. Barnes oversees Garden Hill’s Accelerated Reader program, striving to create a culture of readers in a very diverse environment comprised mostly of English language learners. She has been selected as Teacher of the Year twice, once in 2002 at Petersen Elementary and again in 2012 at Garden Hills Elementary. She was also honored with an Outstanding Educator Award from Passion City Church in 2013.