Savannah-Chatham County Public School System

SCCPSS 2021-22 TOTY Named Georgia State 2022 Teacher of the Year

Published on: 10/19/2021

​Teaching is a second career for Cherie Dennis.  Upon graduating from Georgetown University in 1993 with a Bachelor of Science in Japanese and a minor in teaching, and then from Stanford University in 1995 with a Master of Arts in East Asian Studies, she intended to become a Japanese language teacher.  Unfortunately, jobs proved scarce, so she landed in advertising, first at Saatchi & Saatchi working on Toyota's national campaign and then at DDB strategizing for Clorox.  However, Ms. Dennis knew where her heart had always been.

In 2004, Ms. Dennis moved to Savannah to raise her son near family.  Once he entered Kindergarten, she began working toward her Master of Arts in Teaching, Early Childhood Education from Armstrong Atlantic State University, completing it in 2010. Now in her 12th year with Savannah Chatham County Public Schools, she serves as an elementary ESOL teacher at Hesse K8 following 7-1/2 years teaching 3rd grade.  Ever honing her craft, Ms. Dennis also earned Gifted and ESOL Endorsements, and, in August 2019, completed her Education Specialist degree in Teacher Leadership with a Coaching Endorsement from Mercer University.

In February of 2020, Ms. Dennis was named the 2021 SCCPSS District Teacher of the Year and was originally slated to serve in that role through the 2020-21 School Year.  However, the COVID-19 pandemic that shut down schools a short time later, also resulted in the temporary suspension of the State of Georgia's Teacher of the Year program, so all district teachers of the year were asked to continue those duties for an additional year and the 2021 TOTY cohort became candidates for 2022 State Teacher of the Year.  That honor was bestowed on Ms. Dennis in August of 2021 and she represented teachers from the state in the National Teacher of the Year program!

At Hesse, Ms. Dennis serves on the Leadership Team and the School Council and chairs the School-wide Writing Team. Additionally, she is Hesse's Site Based Induction Specialist and Professional Learning Liason.  In September 2017, The Exchange Club of Savannah named her Teacher of the Month.  Her spare time is spent reading, cracking New York Times crossword puzzles, traveling, cooking, and eating good food.

Ms. Dennis maintains several social media accounts as Georgia State Teacher of the Year.  They can be accessed here:

2022GaTOTY on Twitter.

GATeacher on Facebook.

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