State’s 2023 Teacher of the Year gets master’s in music education from Georgia College

State’s 2023 Teacher of the Year gets master’s in music education from Georgia College

M ichael Kobito, '22, received more than his Master's in Music Education in May. The Georgia College graduate was also named Georgia’s 2023 Teacher of the Year.

“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,” Kobito said. “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.”

Currently, the Acworth resident is an AP Music Theory teacher and director of bands at Woodland High School in Cartersville. He manages four concert bands, a jazz band, a 200-member marching band, pep band and chamber ensembles. He also gives private lessons.

Michael Kobito with the Woodland High School Wind Symphony in Cartersville, Georgia.
Michael Kobito with the Woodland High School Wind Symphony in Cartersville, Georgia.

Kobito was originally inspired by his music teachers in middle and high school. He wanted to impact the lives of others. Teaching music allowed him to follow this passion and being at Georgia College brought more purpose to his vision.

The University of Georgia graduate decided to get his master’s at Georgia College due to the influence of Dr. Tina Holmes-Davis, associate professor and coordinator of music education. Her work and commitment to education made him excited to learn more.

The program as a whole allowed me to do meaningful research that I was able to apply to my students. Whether it was researching about specific pieces or jazz history, music theory or pedagogy, I learned where, how and what to look for when in pursuit of answers.
– Michael Kobito

His school’s educational philosophy is: “Every student’s contribution is important.” Kobito tries to fulfill that motto every day, helping timid music learners to overcome their fears of not being good enough and to keep trying.

Kobito and his Georgia 2023 Teacher of the Year award with Richard Woods, superintendent for the state of Georgia.
Kobito and his Georgia 2023 Teacher of the Year award with Richard Woods, superintendent for the state of Georgia.
Kobito was first nominated by his peers for his school’s Teacher of the Year award. He went on to win his school district’s award before capturing the state title.

As the Georgia Teacher of the Year, Kobito will serve as a statewide advocate for public education—getting a chance to bring his insight and what he learned from Georgia College to greater use.

He’s honored to represent the teaching profession.

“Education is so important,” Kobito said, “and our students deserve the best chance for success. I'm grateful for the opportunity to serve and lead in such a profound, far-reaching way.”

“This opportunity is going to give me the chance to learn and meet so many of the great educators in our state and in our country,” he said. “I'm going to come out of this experience wiser, grateful and ready to share what I've learned with my school and my students.”