In an evening filled with inspiration and celebration, the DeKalb County School District (DCSD) honored all of its employees of the year at the 10th Annual Academy of Educational Excellence Awards Gala at the Georgia World Congress Center on November 4th. More than a ceremony, it showcased many of the District’s finest individuals.

All school-level employees of the year had their moment in the limelight. Of those, five outstanding DCSD professionals were announced as District winners. These extraordinary leaders are:

  • Teacher of the Year: Kristen Jones, DeKalb Elementary School of the Arts, stood out for her innovative and engaging teaching methods, igniting a love for learning in her students.
  • Principal of The Year: Vitella Dodson, Redan High School, was praised for her exceptional leadership qualities and determined commitment to creating a thriving educational environment.
  • Educational Support Professionals: The ceremony also honored the support heroes of education. Each has made significant contributions, whether enhancing student experiences or ensuring the safety and smooth operation of the District’s functions.
    • Donna Howard, DeKalb School of the Arts
    • Syreeta McTier, Smoke Rise Elementary School
    • Dale Collins, Department of Public Safety.

DCSD Superintendent Dr. Devon Horton praised the awardees in his address, highlighting their indispensable contributions to the District’s ongoing mission.

“As DCSD strives to deliver excellence and innovation in every one of our 138 schools and centers, we know these are only possible with consummate professionals in all roles committing themselves to the successful development of our students,” said Dr. Devon Horton.

“This recognition is a small gesture of gratitude for this year’s honorees who so selflessly go above and beyond their call of duty. We appreciate the sacrifices you make as part of our DCSD team. Your hard work and resilience do not go unnoticed.”

All employees of the year were nominated by their peers, underscoring the strong sense of community and mutual respect among the district’s staff. A panel of education professionals was challenged to select the winners from an impressive pool of nominees.

To see all DCSD District Employees of the Year for 2023-2024, please click on this link:

To view photos from the Gala, click the link: