Woodland High School Teacher and Band Director Michael Kobito has passion, pursuit, and now the prestigious honor of being named Georgia Teacher of the Year!
“Shock was my initial reaction, followed by pride in knowing that the work I do here at Woodland is being recognized and my story will be shared all across the state,” said Kobito.
Kobito’s story started long before he was chosen as the top educator in the state of Georgia. He is a 2011 graduate of Woodland High School and a University of Georgia alumnus. Kobito led the Redcoat Marching Band before leading hundreds of students at his alma mater.
As band director, Kobito manages a 200-member marching band, four concert bands, a basketball pep band, jazz band, winter guard, and a private lessons institute.
Kobito and his Wildcats were invited to march in the National Cherry Blossom Parade in Washington, D.C. and the London New Year’s Day Parade next year.
Kobito also established a successful AP Music Theory class. During his first year teaching the class, he had full test participation and a 100 percent pass rate.
As one of ten finalists in the State Teacher of the Year contest, Kobito participated in a rigorous interview and speech process.
“I felt like I represented myself the best that I could, but the other finalists were all so inspiring and impressive, I honestly did not know,” said Kobito. “I was just proud to be in their company, but now I am excited to be representing all the teachers in our state!”
“His impact will extend far beyond the classroom, and we could not be prouder,” said Bartow County School System Superintendent Dr. Phillip Page. “While Michael is a natural leader and results-driven educator at Woodland High School, he also values meaningful connections with his students. That’s evident. The Georgia Department of Education could not have picked a better representative and advocate for students and staff in our state.”
As Georgia Teacher of the Year, Kobito will serve as an advocate for public education in Georgia. According to the GDOE, “he will speak to the public about the teaching profession and serve as an ex-officio member of the State Board of Education. He will also participate in the competitive selection process for the 2023 National Teacher of the Year.”
“I hope to continue the great work of my predecessor on initiatives regarding teacher burnout, retention, and recruitment,” added Kobito. “I am also excited to speak to the importance of the arts in our schools and how ALL teachers can truly make a difference in the lives of their kids and communities. I will work to make sure our teachers are seen, our students are seen, and the value of what we do is seen throughout our community and state.”