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Caraballo Is State Teacher of the Year Finalist

VHS Opens Applications for Principal

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Vidalia City Schools District Teacher of the Year and J.R. Trippe Middle School Teacher of the Year Julie Caraballo has been named a Top 10 Finalist for the Georgia Teacher of the Year Award. State School Superintendent Richard Woods announced a list of 10 finalists for the award, which includes Caraballo on March 7. These finalists have been named after an application process reviewed by a panel of judges that included teachers, past Georgia Teacher of the Year winners, state and local administrators, community leaders, and others. It was the strength of these 10 individuals’ essay responses within their applications that shifted them onto the leader board. Caraballo shared her thoughts on the announcement. “I am in complete shock,” she remarked. “To be honest with you, I wanted to do my best and represent Vidalia City Schools, but I thought with all these wonderful teachers around the state, there was no way I was going to make the Top 10. I did not expect this.”

J.R. Trippe Middle School Principal Sandy Reid said that the honor is not a surprise, and that she is thrilled the rest of the state is able to see what those acquainted with Caraballo already knew. “Being selected as a 2023 Georgia Teacher of the Year Top 10 Finalist is an affirmation of what we already knew. Mrs. Caraballo is a tremendous asset to our students, school, and community, and teachers like Mrs. Caraballo make huge differences in the lives of our students and their families. It is pretty unbelievable when you think about her representing Vidalia City Schools in a group that represents the best of the best out of the population of educators in the state of Georgia.”

This accomplishment is the first time which the Vidalia Teacher of the Year has been selected as a Georgia Teacher of the Year finalist. “I feel honored to be selected, but I also feel that there is a huge responsibility on my shoulders to represent our system well,” Caraballo said.

Assistant Superintendent Ginger Morris shared her thoughts on the honor. “We are beyond excited for Julie to be a top 10 finalist for Georgia Teacher of the Year. She represents all we strive for as educators. Her passion in the mission and vision of Vidalia City Schools is seen in her love of teaching as well as seeing students excel in and out of the classroom. If chosen as the Georgia Teacher of the Year, she will embrace the task with the same enthusiasm and confidence we see daily in the classroom. We wish her the best of luck knowing the real winners are the students who call her teacher each day!”

The Top 10 Finalists will meet over the next month with a panel of judges to give formal interviews and speeches. The final winner will be announced on April 30.

VHS Principal Applications Open At the regular board meeting on March 8, the Vidalia City Schools Board of Education announced that they would begin accepting applications to fill the vacated position of current VHS Principal John Sharpe for the 2022-2023 school year. Sharpe is leaving the school after serving as principal for nine years to serve as the leader of the Southeastern Early College and Career Academy (SECCA). For information on applying, call the Vidalia City Schools Board of Education office.

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