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Janae’ Cohen Named Henry County Schools’ Teacher of the Year

Submission Date: October 28, 2019

Release Date:  For Immediate Release

Contact: J.D. Hardin, 770-957-6601 ext. 161,

(Release # 0015-10-19)

Janae' Cohen is Henry County Schools' 2019 Teacher of the Year  

Janae’ Cohen Named Henry County Schools’ Teacher of the Year

HENRY COUNTY, GA – Janae’ Cohen, a gifted teacher at Red Oak Elementary, was named Teacher of the Year for Henry County Schools. The announcement was made during the Teacher of the Year Gala on Thursday, October 24 at the Henry County Performing Arts Center.

Cohen was named a finalist during the evening event along with Christy Collier (Locust Grove Middle School) and Jaime Henck (Luella High School).

The top teacher in the district is a 9-year veteran teacher and 4-year veteran in Henry County Schools.  She now moves on to represent the school system in the Georgia Teacher of the Year competition.

There were several sponsors for this year’s event, including Piedmont Henry Hospital supporting the event as a Platinum Sponsor.  This top sponsor, along with several other local businesses helped support the event with either gifts or donations for the semifinalists, finalists, and the overall winner.  SCB-TV served as media sponsor for the gala.

Cohen received cash and prizes, including funds for professional development conferences, totaling over $8,000.  The two finalists received cash and prizes in excess of $3,000.  Semifinalists Krissie McCampbell (New Hope Elementary), Dawn Ford (Union Grove Middle School), and Andra Gammage (Woodland High School) received items just over $1,500.

The announcement was a surreal experience according to Cohen.  She shares that she is still in shock by the news. 

“Every day, I try to do my very best to give my kids the absolute best,” said Cohen.  “To have my name called for this distinguished honor in front of everyone has been beyond anything I could have imagined. In addition to it being an honor, it is a blessing to represent the students, teachers, and all Henry County Schools personnel. I am proud and humbled to have the opportunity to receive the district's top honor.

The biggest prize of the night was a one-time stipend from the school system to the Teacher of the Year for $5,000.                                   

All 53 Teachers of the Year from the respective schools in the district were recognized with plaques, flowers, and other items provided by Piedmont Henry Hospital, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Shane’s Rib Shack, and Martha Mae’s Flowers and Gifts.

Special guests and entertainment for the evening included remarks by Superintendent of Schools Mary Elizabeth Davis, on-stage musical performances by Juli Gilbert and Clayton Jolley, supported by the Cotton Indian Elementary Chorus, and a keynote address from outgoing HCS Teacher of the Year Kelley Theodocion.

Superintendent Mary Elizabeth Davis shared how important this event is for the school district.

“The Teacher of the Year Gala is truly about celebrating the outstanding teachers in our district for their dedication to the most important job in the world,” said Davis.  “The teachers featured tonight and our new Teacher of the Year are important examples of why learning in a Henry County classroom is so special and second to none.  We are thrilled to have Janae’ Cohen now move on to represent our district at the state level.”

Over 700 attendees were able to start the evening at a pre-ceremony dessert reception at the Academy for Advanced Studies.  Guests were also treated to musical performances at the reception and the Performing Arts Center lobby by the Ola Middle School string ensemble.

The sponsors for the evening were recognized for their generous contributions, and the list of sponsors is as follows:

  • Piedmont Henry Hospital – Platinum Sponsor
  • Georgia United Credit Union – Bronze Sponsor
  • Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
  • Shane’s Rib Shack
  • Victory Trophies
  • Georgia Power
  • Scarlett’s Retreat
  • Southern Belle Farm
  • Griffin RESA
  • Elf’s Cakery
  • A T-Shirt Company
  • Martha Mae’s Flowers & Gifts
  • Absolutely Flowers
  • Classic Realty
  • Meredith Homes, Inc.
  • Unique & Homemade Jewelry – Terri Whitlock
  • Bellamy Strickland Chevrolet Buick GMC
  • SCB-TV – Media Sponsor

For more information on Henry County Schools, visit



Photos: (L-R) - Mary Elizabeth Davis, Superintendent; Holly Cobb, BOE Vice Chair (Dist. 3); Annette Edwards, BOE Member (Dist. 5); Dr. Shaakira Akbar, Principal (Red Oak Elementary); Janae’ Cohen, 2019 HCS Teacher of the Year; Josh Hinton, BOE Chair (Dist. 2); Sophe Pope, BOE Member (Dist. 4); Dr. Pam Nutt, BOE Member (Dist. 1)