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For Immediate Release
For more information contact:
September 13, 2012
Jay Dillon (770) 426-3345


Dr. Richard Kaht of Dickerson Middle School
Named District Teacher of the Year

The Cobb County School District today named Dr. Richard Kaht, science teacher at Dickerson Middle School, as the 2012-2013 District Teacher of the Year! Dr. Kaht was surprised with the honor by Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa during a special, school spirit-filled assembly at Dickerson. In addition to having his handprints immortalized on Marietta Square and receiving a one-year vehicle lease from community partner Ed Voyles Automotive, Kaht will also represent Cobb in the statewide contest. He was previously named Cobb County's middle school level Teacher of the Year, which made him eligible for the district-wide merit.

Inspired to teach from an early age, Dr. Kaht's first years as an educator were spent teaching and working with students in a drug rehabilitation and education center. He entered public schools in 1995, teaching Georgia History to a challenging student population at an inner-city DeKalb County middle school. Dr. Kaht's eighth graders earned national recognition for their entry in a political platform competition sponsored by Turner Education Systems. Kaht joined the Cobb County School District in 1997, teaching history and science at Campbell Middle before arriving at Dickerson Middle in 1999.

Dr. Kaht aims to get his students excited about exploring Life, Physical and Earth science, using humor and hands-on reinforcement. Dr. Kaht said, "If students do not enjoy my class, it will be that much harder for them to learn the material and take ownership in the concepts." For example, after discussing Gregor Mendel's study of genetics by growing peas, students grew their own peas in the classroom. "I try to not only teach a subject, but also present skills of learning and the idea that they can be successful and accomplish great things."

During the 2011-2012 school year, Dr. Kaht started Dickerson's FTC Robotics Club for students as a fun, extracurricular extension of the science concepts covered during class time. In its first year, the team competed against teams of high school students and earned two top ten finishes. Since joining Dickerson, Dr. Kaht has participated in the DMS Leadership Team, helped implement the Olweus Bullying Prevention program and collaborated with other science teachers to improve instruction throughout Cobb County.

Kaht has remained committed to his own professional development, having earned his doctorate and specialist degrees in Education Leadership from Argosy University, a master's degree in education from Central Michigan University and a undergraduate degree in business administration from Georgia State University. He and his family are active members of the Catholic Church of St. Ann, volunteering with the Teen Life and St. Vincent DePaul Society programs in their parish.

The Cobb County School District recognizes a Teacher of the Year for each of the elementary, middle and high school levels, honoring the unique talents and skills needed at each academic level. Each of Cobb's 114 schools chooses its own Teacher of the Year who is, in turn, nominated for the district-wide honor. Each application is read and rated independently by a committee of administrators. The highest-rated applicants from elementary, middle, and high schools become the Teachers of the Year. The District Teacher of the Year is chosen from these three honorees. A committee selects the overall winner based on written applications and interviews with the candidates.

Dr. Richard Kaht's Teacher of the Year handprint will be unveiled during the annual Cobb Chamber of Commerce ‘Give Our Schools a Hand' ceremony Oct. 3, 2012 at Glover Park on Marietta Square.