The annual Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools Teacher of the Year Gala was held Friday, February 11, 2022, at the Marriott Savannah Riverfront. Fifty-five teachers were honored from nearly every school in the District and Elizabeth Whalen of Charles Ellis Montessori Academy was named the 2023 Teacher of the Year.
As a representative of the many quality teachers across the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System, the District's Teacher of the Year is honored with the distinction of having the Flag of Learning and Liberty proudly displayed at their school. In addition to leading the SCCPSS Professional Senate for Savannah-Chatham educators, the District Teacher of the Year acts as an ambassador visiting local schools throughout the year, taking part in school board meetings, and representing the district at various events throughout the area. Ms. Whalen will also continue for consideration in the state-level Teacher of the Year program.
Elizabeth Whalen is a Montessori certified educator at Charles Ellis Montessori Academy in Savannah. Upon graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Armstrong Atlantic State University in 2006, she began her first teaching job at a traditional public school. The following year, she transferred to Charles Ellis and has poured her soul into Montessori teaching for the last sixteen years.
During those first years, Mrs. Whalen spent countless hours training on the proper use of the Montessori didactic materials. In 2010, she received her Gifted certification, an experience that revealed the importance of arts integration. In 2015, she graduated from Lesley University with a master's degree in Curriculum Integration Through the Arts and shortly after, began the rigorous process of obtaining a Montessori teaching certification through the American Montessori Society, which she completed in 2017. In 2018, she trained to become a Montessori Coach and has served in that capacity since. As a Montessori Coach, she has relished the opportunity of walking alongside others on their teaching journeys.
See more photos from the Gala here.