2016-2017 Teachers of the Year

Commerce Primary Teacher of the Year -  Mrs. Jessica Outz


Mrs. Outz has taught at Commerce Primary School since 2013.  She worked as a paraprofessional at Commerce Primary from 2004-2011.  In 2012, Mrs. Outz worked as a substitute in Stephens County Middle School.

In 2012, Mrs. Outz completed her certification in Early Childhood Education from Piedmont College.  Mrs. Outz serves on a variety of committees at Commerce Primary.  She is a mentor to our Pre-K teachers, and she assists with the Afterschool Program. 








Commerce Elementary Teacher of the Year & CCSS Teacher of the Year -  Mrs. Rashada Wood



Mrs. Rashada Wood graduated as Valedictorian of the CHS Class of 1998.  In December 2002, Mrs. Wood graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Education from Georgia State University.  In August of 2010, Mrs. Wood graduated from Georgia State University with a Master of Education in Reading, Language, and Literacy.  Since June of 2016, Mrs. Wood is pursuing a Specialist Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Piedmont College.

In August of 2003, Mrs. Wood began her teaching career at White Sulphur Elementary in Hall County.  At White Sulphur Elementary, Mrs. Wood taught first and second grades.  She was trained in Reading First and in Singapore Math.  In August of 2015, Mrs. Wood began teaching third grade at Commerce Elementary School where she earned her gifted endorsement and was trained in CGI math strategies.  

During the 2015-2016 school year, Mrs. Wood had 11 out of 16 students score at Levels 3 or 4 in English/Language Arts on the Georgia Milestones.  In math, 9 out of 16 students scored at Levels 3 or 4 on the Georgia Milestones.  She had 15 out of 16 students tested at a guided reading level of “P” indicating that they were reading on an end of year third grade level.  There were only two third grade students who were able to join CES’s Million Word Club during 2015-2016.  Both students were from Mrs. Wood’s homeroom class.


Commerce Middle Teacher of the Year -  Mr. Brad Puckett

Mr. Brad Puckett earned his gifted endorsement from Northeast GA RESA in July of 1999.  In May of 1999, Mr. Puckett earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Middle Grades Education from Piedmont College.  In May of 2013, Mr. Puckett earned his Master of Arts degree in middle grades social sciences from Piedmont College.

Mr. Puckett began his teaching career in 1999 at Jefferson Academy where he taught until 2002.  Next, he taught at Jefferson Middle School from 2002-2014.  Beginning in the fall of 2014, Mr. Puckett began teaching at Commerce Middle School where he has taught both 6th and 8th grade social studies.  Mr. Puckett is the head coach of the Lady Tiger Basketball Team at CHS.

Mr. Puckett has served on a variety of committees throughout his teaching career.  In 2015-2016, he earned the Positive High School Coach Award.


Commerce High Teacher of the Year - Mr. Mark Hale

In 1984, Coach Hale graduated from Clarke Central High School.  In 1988, he earned his Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Georgia.  In 1995, he completed his Master of Education with a major in social science education from the University of Georgia.  In 2012, Coach Hale completed his Specialist in Education from Piedmont College with a major in Teacher Leadership.

Throughout Coach Hale’s teaching career, he has many “opportunities.”  He has taught AP US History, US History, Psychology, and World History.  He has served as department chair since 2007.  Coach Hale has been a senior class advisor since 1998.  He has coached girls and boys tennis, varsity and JV baseball, assistant girls basketball and head JV basketball, middle school boys basketball, and cross country for boys and girls (since 1997).

Coach Hale was named CHS Teacher of the Year and Commerce City Schools Teacher of the Year in 2000.  He was STAR Teacher in 2004, and he has been named Rotary Teacher of the Month multiple times.  

In 2016, 10 of 12 students passed the AP US History Exam.  In 2015-2016, 45 of 72 students scored at Levels 3 or 4 on the US History EOC assessment.  In 2014, 100% of students met the High Growth Target on the Psychology SLO.