When I first started teaching, an award like this was only a dream. Being recognized at this level is very humbling and carries a lot of responsibility. I’m honored that it’s part of my journey. Teaching is my passion, and I’ve always had a love for mathematics. I am grateful for the amazing educators who taught, supported, and mentored me along the way. In the most challenging of times, this award inspires me even more to look for innovative ways to ignite a love for learning in my students.

Dyanna Motes Powder Springs, GA | K-6, Mathematics, 2020

The official biography below was current at the time of the award.

Dyanna Motes has been an educator for 13 years and has spent the last three years teaching third grade at Kemp Elementary School. She previously taught first grade as a special education co-teacher at Kemp. For the first six years of her career, she worked at Hayes Elementary School as a general education and special education teacher. She has taught all subjects and all grade levels, kindergarten through fifth grade. Communicating a growth mindset and developing innovative instructional activities are some of Dyanna’s hallmarks. She recently received some grants that she used to create a school Movement Lab for kinesthetic learning. She was honored as a STEM Distinguished Educator and Cobb County Green Teacher for implementing STEM lessons in her classroom. She was also selected to present a motivational “Ted Talk” during a districtwide opening day broadcast to all educators about a former teacher who had inspired her. Dyanna is a teacher leader in her district. As a New Teacher Academy instructor, she helps those new to her district become acclimated to special education, district expectations, and she provides them with a variety of instructional strategies. She has presented sessions on mathematics instruction and engagement at the district and state levels, including a collaboration with Georgia Public Broadcasting. She has also served on mathematics assessment committees at the district and state levels. Dyanna has a B.S.Ed., magna cum laude, and an M.Ed. in early childhood education from the University of Georgia. She also earned an Ed.S. in early childhood education from the University of West Georgia. She is certified in general education and special education and has endorsements in mathematics, reading, English to Speakers of Other Languages, and leadership.

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