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Johnathan Hines Named Georgia 2019-2020 Pre-K Teacher Of the Year

Johnathan Hines is a special man and should be lauded as such. The Georgia educator was recently named the state’s Pre-K Teacher Of The Year by the Georgia Department of Education. The honor is especially awesome considering he’s the very first black man to take it home.

According to Johnathan, he’s proud to have reached his goal and wants to teach black children that they can aspire to be more than a rapper or an athlete. He also said it was a goal of his to win the award.

“When you set a goal – a very lofty goal – and you happen to attain that goal, it’s an amazing feeling,” he said to WSBTV. “My goal was always centered around basketball. Just being named a finalist was a win for me. When I found out I was one of three finalists, it was amazing. It’s for DeKalb County. It’s for Barack Obama Elementary School. It’s for this community.

“I’m still taking it in at this moment.”

Johnathan first came to Barack H. Obama Elementary Magnet School of Technology to work as a Teaching Assistant until a P.E. teacher job opened up. He changed his mind however and it paid off.

WSBTV reports that in metro Atlanta, about 8% of teachers are black men. In 2016, men made up about 15% of DeKalb County School District teachers and Johnathan is one of three black men teaching Pre-K in all of DeKalb County.

As the Pre-K Teacher of the Year, Johnathan, 30, received a $7,500 check, of which $2,000 goes to his school, $2,500 is to be used for a classroom makeover and $3,000 is for his own use. He will travel across the state sharing best practices and other hacks with other classroom teachers.

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