Tahira Chandler named District TOTY

Tahira Chandler Named District Teacher of the Year
Posted on 09/24/2021
Tahira Chandler, the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) teacher at New Manchester High School (NMHS), has been named the Douglas County School System (DCSS) Teacher of the Year for 2021-22. Chandler was recognized at a banquet Thursday night along with the other 33 school-level Teachers of the Year.

During the TOTY judging process, judges spoke highly of Chandler, with many saying her positive attitude and passion for her students and teaching set her apart. Another remarked that Chandler had a genuine love and commitment to her profession, while another added that each student in her class is important to her.

“As a public school teacher, we are blessed to serve a diverse group of learners each year. Some years, we get students who love school and want to learn, and some years we have students who are just not lucky enough to be able to focus on their schooling alone,” Chandler said. “We must ensure the success of all of our students, no matter what deficits or learning gaps they may have.”

Chandler, a Detroit, Michigan, native, moved to Georgia in 2007 and began her teaching career in 2010. 

Since 2016, Chandler has been helping students at NMHS, first as a math teacher before transitioning to teaching AVID at the beginning of the 2021-22 school year. 

AVID is a year-long program for students that seeks to close the achievement gap and prepare them for college readiness and future career success in a global society. 
Ruffin, Chandler and Zachery
At the banquet, Avery Zachery, a Winston Elementary School fourth-grade teacher, was named Elementary School TOTY, and Radiance Ruffin, a seventh-grade teacher at Stewart Middle School, was named Middle School TOTY. 

Other semifinalists for district TOTY in addition to Chandler, Zachery and Ruffin were Meagan Russell of Bright Star Elementary School, Colette Bell of Yeager Middle School and Leah Mathis of Alexander High School. 

The 2021-22 Douglas County School System TOTY will represent Douglas County for the next year at various speaking engagements and will compete for 2022-23 Georgia Teacher of the Year. 

At the top, Chandler is pictured with Board of Education Chair Tracy Rookard and Superintendent Trent North. Above, she is pictured with middle school TOTY Radiance Ruffin (left) and elementary school TOTY Avery Zachery (right). Below, she is also pictured with her husband, John Chandler, who serves as assistant principal and athletic director at Alexander High School.

Chandler with husband
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