Michael Kobito, an AP music theory teacher and director of bands at Woodland High School in Cartersville, has been named Georgia’s Teacher of the Year for 2023. The announcement was made by State Superintendent Richard Woods at a banquet celebrating all of the district’s Teachers of the Year.
Kobito, who received his Master’s in Music Education from Georgia College in May, was praised for his dedication to student-centered learning and for his exceptional work in incorporating the fine arts into education. Woods spoke highly of Kobito, saying, “Michael Kobito is an outstanding educator who exemplifies both student-centered decision-making and the role of the fine arts in providing a world-class education to students.”
As an AP music theory teacher, Kobito’s first-year students achieved a 100 percent participation rate and 100 percent pass rate on the AP exam. He is also responsible for managing and overseeing four concert bands, a jazz band, a 200-member marching band, a basketball pep band, a private lessons institute, and a winter guard. Under his direction, the marching band has been invited to participate in the National Cherry Blossom Parade in Washington, D.C., and the London New Year’s Day Parade in 2023.
Michael Kobito’s teaching philosophy centers around making every student feel valued and capable of learning. He wrote in his application, “Many of the students in our classes are afraid to try because they feel they aren’t as smart or skilled as their peers. In my classroom, from the very start, I reinforce our classroom philosophy: every student’s contribution is important, and every student can learn.”
The Georgia’s Teacher of the Year for 2023’s commitment to education and his love for teaching stem from his own experiences as a student. He was inspired by his music teachers in middle and high school and wanted to follow in their footsteps to make a positive impact on the lives of others. Kobito chose to pursue his Master’s degree at Georgia College because of the influence of Dr. Tina Holmes-Davis, associate professor and coordinator of music education. Her work and dedication to education inspired him to continue learning and growing as an educator.
Kobito expressed his gratitude for the award and for his colleagues in the profession, saying, “Being a student again has helped me be a better teacher, in the sense I’m taking ideas from my professors that I enjoy and sharing them with my students. I know the other teachers of the year for the state are incredible, so I’m just proud to stand next to them and be in this profession with them.”
As Georgia’s Teacher of the Year for 2023, Michael Kobito will have the opportunity to represent the state in various educational events and will serve as an advocate for Georgia’s public schools. His dedication to student-centered learning and his passion for teaching make him an excellent representative for the state and a role model for educators across the country.