GA Dept. of Juvenile Justice names Toccoa native Teacher of the Year

Board of Juvenile Justice, DJJ Commissioner Reynolds-Cobb, Deputy Superintendent Letunya Walker, and Board Chair Sandra Heath Taylor awarded Katherine Wilcher the 2023-2024 DJJ Teacher of the Year award. (Department of Juvenile Justice Facebook)

The Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice has named its 2023-2024 Teacher of the Year. The award was given to a Toccoa Native and a former teacher in the Stephens County School System.

In a press release, The Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice recognized Katherine Wilcher for her commitment to students at the Gainesville Regional Youth Detention Center. Welcher teaches mathematics to students in 6th through 12th grade classes at the Center.

Department of Juvenile Justice Commissioner Shawanda Reynolds-Cobb said Wilcher is a “beacon of inspiration.” She added, “Wilcher’s gentle, thoughtful, and confident approach has surely contributed to her success with students. I am grateful to have her on our team of educators.”

According to the DJJ press release, Wilcher began teaching in the Stephens County School System under a provisional teaching certificate. During the 2012-2013 school year, she earned a certification from the Georgia Teacher Academy for Preparation and Pedagogy program. This program is an alternative teaching certification pathway that enables those with bachelor’s degrees to transition into the teaching profession. Wilcher holds the distinction of being the first in the county to earn the certification.

Wilcher earned her Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Piedmont University in Demorest.

This is not the first time Wilcher has been recognized. She was awarded the Faithful Service Award by the DJJ in 2022.

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