Concept Schools Announces 2024 Teacher of the Year Winners

Dear Concept Friends and Supporters,

Congratulations to our 2023-2024 Concept Teacher of the Year winners!  

With more than 200 nominees for the Concept Schools Teacher of the Year award, this year’s group tremendously impressed us. Nominees displayed their passion, dedication, innovation, commitment to student success, creativity in teaching methods, and contributions to their school community.  

It is our honor to announce this year’s winners:

Elementary School: Gail Gillhooley (Michigan Math and Science Academy-Dequindre)
TESTIMONIAL: "Mrs. Gillhooley is a dedicated teacher who works very hard every day to meet the needs of her students. She is a person who helps not only her students but will go above and beyond to help any student in any grade. She is a leader to other staff members but is also willing to ask for help if she needs it. She works hard every day to ensure she is reaching all of her students at their academic and behavior levels."
Middle School: Scott Gates (Horizon Science Academy Cincinnati)
TESTIMONIAL: "Rookie of the YEAR! Ok so he's not REALLY a rookie, but it's Mr. Gates' first year here at Horizon and an amazing asset to our middle school team. His creativity and drive to teach the scholars a real science experience helps them evolve into real observers. Mr. Gates' experience helps the team and he has simply helped engage our middle school team into a higher gear."
High School: Mustafa Aytekin (Horizon Science Academy Columbus High)
TESTIMONIAL: Mr. Aytekin is an exceptional educator who goes above and beyond with his teaching practices. His has a passion for engineering and industrial robotics and instills this passion into his students and school community which shines every day. He inspires many students to go into the STEM field after graduation. His students received acceptance from the world's top universities like MIT, Harvard, John Hopkins, and Standfort with the engineering major. He is a role model of learning as an educator to his students.

We also want to acknowledge and congratulate our finalists:

  • Elementary School: Rebekah Komer (Indiana Math and Science Academy North) and Susan Tiffany (Gateway Science Academy Smiley)
  • Middle School: Jessica Maybearry (Gateway Science Academy Fyler) and Mona Fayed (Horizon Science Academy Columbus Middle)
  • High School: Laura Sema Wilson (Horizon Science Academy Southwest Chicago) and Kathy Hostetler (Horizon Science Academy Columbus High)

Please join us in congratulating our winners and finalists for this well-deserved recognition. Their tireless efforts, exemplary teaching, and profound impact on the lives of our students truly embody the spirit of excellence that we strive for at Concept Schools.