Return to Headlines

McRee Named District Teacher of the Year



ALBANY, Ga. -- Lake Park Elementary School First Grade Teacher Katherine McRee was named the Dougherty County School System’s district-wide Teacher of the Year for the 2023-2024 school year Thursday night. 

McRee was narrowly selected as the winner by a panel of judges from among five finalists for the award. The other finalists included Melissa Clark from 4C Academy, Angela Daniel from International Studies Elementary Charter School, Angela James from Robert Harvey Elementary School and Cursala Davis from Monroe Comprehensive High School.

According to parent Erin Reynolds, they, “love her (McRee) because she is kind, loving, fun, and truly cares about them (her students). She got to know each of them as a whole person and helped to highlight their unique strengths, which is something that really stood out to me as a parent of identical twins.

Her enthusiasm, love, and passion for teaching is evident in every interaction I have had with her. It is clear that she has found her calling in life, and I am thankful for the positive impact she has had on our family.”

First Grade student Raegan Jones said of her teacher, “I love going to school everyday so I can see Ms. McRee. She always makes me feel special, and she always tells us to be kind. I enjoy our morning walks and our compliment chart. These things make me feel happy when I am in (her) class, and I am so glad I get to be in her class with my friends.”

McRee’s principal, Dr. Trina Bush, called McRee a great example of what excellence in education looks like. 

“I cannot say enough about the caliber of teacher and person that Katherine McRee is,” Bush wrote in her recommendation letter. “You could ask anyone who has ever taught with her or any parent who has ever had a child in her class, and you would hear the same thing; she is amazing. Ms. McRee stands out above the rest. She makes her coworkers better teachers. She makes me a better principal. Ms. McRee makes Lake Park a better school. Ms. Katherine McRee is one of a kind. She is the best choice for the 2024 Dougherty County Teacher of the Year.”

Superintendent Kenneth Dyer thanked McRee and all of the teachers in the district during a speech Thursday. 

“Every day, you are on the front lines of education. When you’re not pushing to motivate students, you’re often working to inspire parents or trying to strike some semblance of work/life balance with your own families,” Dyer said. “Despite all of the challenges, however, no one knows better than you that, with the right guidance, support, and inspiration, our students can achieve their highest potential. More than any other profession, you have the opportunity to touch the lives of others in ways that can impact them for a lifetime.”

McRee was tapped as the district’s top teacher during a banquet Thursday evening. She’ll go on to represent the district at the state Teacher of the Year competition.