When Superintendent of the Cherokee County School District, Dr. Frank Petruzielo, visits your class unexpectedly, it can cause some concern. When this visit is accompanied by the principal, several media representatives and a cookie bouquet, concern turns to pure confusion. This was the scene today at Etowah High School in John Murnan’s science class. John was about to find out he had been selected as the Cherokee County Teacher of the Year.
Each year, each Cherokee County school selects a Teacher of the Year to represent its school. Out of those 40 teachers, one is selected as the County winner. John will represent the County for the State competition and if he wins State, he will compete for the National Teacher of the Year. John previously taught in Florida at Atlantic and Glades County high schools. Seven years ago, he and his family decided to relocate to Georgia when he accepted a position at Etowah High School. Currently, John teaches AP Biology, Anatomy/Physiology and Biology. He also is the head girl’s soccer coach.
John teaches mostly seniors, and he enjoys the challenges of that age group. “The kids change, but often times, I see the same behaviors. My students have one senior year. I get to have a senior year over and over again,” he joked. Student Becca Hannigan signed up for John’s class because she had heard great things about the class. “It’s great to see science through the eyes of someone who is passionate about it. He makes the lessons applicable to everyday life.”
Dr. Petruzielo commented that John is passionate about every student he teaches. “John has particularly embraced embedding technology into his teaching process, and he focuses on students learning to learn. He knows and practices the meaning of “active learning. He also embraces the concept of accountability.”
John’s wife Debra substitute teaches and his daughter, Jenna, is a student at E.T. Booth Middle School.
Congratulations John on an honor well deserved!