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Maria Nelson named Marietta City Schools “Teacher of the Year”

MARIETTA, GA – Maria Nelson, a fourth-grade teacher at Marietta Center for Advanced Academics (MCAA), has been named the Marietta City Schools (MCS) 2024-2025 Teacher of the Year. This recognition was announced at an event honoring MCS employees earlier today. Nelson was selected out of twelve exemplary teachers nominated for their respective schools.

"Teaching is a powerful profession. While we can see some evidence of our impact on a student, we can never truly know just how much of a lasting influence we have in the life of a child. I feel a strong obligation to help students and teachers thrive in education,” said Nelson. “Witnessing the confidence my students build within themselves, and the intrinsic desire to succeed and grow that develops, is the best part of my job because it lasts beyond their time in my class."

Mrs. Nelson brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the classroom. She graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education and completed her Master's degree in Experiential Learning from Clemson University. She also holds endorsements in ESOL, Gifted, and STEM education. Earlier this year, she completed her Specialist's degree in Teacher Leadership.

Currently serving as the fourth-grade team lead, Mrs. Nelson has co-written MCAA’s house challenges for four years and used her knowledge of STEM to deliver ongoing professional development to the staff. She has led professional development on optimizing pathways to maximize student MAP growth and on strategies for maximizing learning retention. She has also been actively involved in various committees and initiatives, including the STEAM Steering Committee and as an elected SGT representative.

"Mrs. Nelson embodies the dedication and innovation that define Marietta City Schools. Her commitment to fostering a love of learning and her relentless pursuit of excellence inspires not only her students but also her colleagues,” said Superintendent Grant Rivera, “Maria’s influence isn’t bound by classroom walls; she nurtures a community of learners and leaders who are prepared to make a positive impact on the world. We are incredibly fortunate to have her as part of our MCS family."

MCS Teachers of the Year are nominated by their peers and selected through an intensive application, observation, and interview process. This recognition highlights those teachers who help students to "Be Somebody" by fostering an environment of individuality, aspiration, and empowerment. It's not just about academic success but also about nurturing students to develop a strong sense of self, a critical understanding of the world, and the confidence to contribute positively to their communities.

Mrs. Nelson's dedication to her students and profession exemplifies what it means to be "Special. Different. Better." in education.