Thanks for a GREAT conference! See you in 2024!!
The Mission of the Georgia Council for the Social Studies is to advocate for, support, and celebrate the advancement of quality social studies teaching for Georgia students.

The Vision of the Georgia Council for the Social Studies is to prepare students to be knowledgeable, effective decision makers and engaged citizens in a globally interdependent world.

Funding has been provided by Georgia Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities as part of the American Rescue Act of 2021.


GCSS Board of Trustees and Officer Election
September 5 – October 1, 2023


GCSS Members will receive a ballot link in an email on September 5, 2023.  The ballot also contains the bio for each candidate.  Voting will close at 11:59 pm on October 1, 2023.  


Candidate Biographies (Presented Alphabetically)


Jan Hansen

As a member of GCSS, I have enjoyed learning from other teachers about what they do in the classroom; this is the best professional learning we can receive. As a frequent presenter at GCSS, I’ve had the opportunity to be part of this process. I have presented multiple times at GCSS conferences on topics ranging from the impact of the TVA to using music to teach the Civil Rights Movement. I was the recipient of the Daughters of the American Revolution Teacher of the Year in 2015, and STAR teacher in 2019. Outside of the classroom, I have been granted opportunities to influence Social Studies at the state level by participating on the Standards Revision Committee and by participating on the US History Curriculum Revisions Committee. Both of these experiences gave me the opportunity to advocate for better Social Studies instruction across the state. I also had a chance to serve on the ESSA Educating the Whole Child Committee and I was able to argue for more robust attention being given to Social Studies education. 

I currently teach AP US History at McIntosh High School in Fayette County, and over the course of my career, I have taught most subjects in the social studies discipline. Although I currently teach in a suburban high school, I began my career in Clayton County and attended school in rural Georgia. I also served on the Wesley International Academy Charter School Board of Directors in downtown Atlanta for four years, 2017-2021, and served as the Chairman of the Academic Excellence Committee working to ensure elementary and middle school teachers got the professional development they needed. My experiences give me a wide-ranging perspective on a cross section of the state. 

I deeply believe that as social studies teachers, we have a duty and responsibility to teach and encourage civic participation, political thought, and create a sense of community responsibility in our students. 

As president-elect of GCSS, I will continue to advocate for the value of social studies to educate the whole child and work to support teachers by growing this organization and creating more opportunities for professional development. This organization has the potential to do more in supporting teachers, and I will work collaboratively with the board to pursue additional outreach and support for teachers so that we can continue to build on the historic excellence of the organization.  I will further work to elevate social studies education by solidifying our relationships with other state organizations, NCSS, and other national organizations. I am so honored to have the opportunity to serve the state of Georgia, the Georgia Council for the Social Studies, and its members. 


Crystal Parten

As both a lifelong learner and educator of Social Studies, I am honored to be considered for the position of President-Elect for GCSS.

My education background includes a B.A. from Valdosta State University, a M.A. from GCSU (both in History), and an Ed.S. from VSU. My classroom teaching experience includes both high school and USG Universities. In high school, I taught many levels of students, including A.P. classes, regular education, and inclusion classes. Further, I served as the Social Studies & Content Literacy Specialist for CSRA RESA from 2016-2023. Here, I researched, developed, and facilitated professional learning at the school, district, and regional levels. Presently, I serve as the Director of Teaching & Learning in Greene County.

As a Social Studies education advocate, I have presented sessions for the GCSS and ISL Conferences between 2014-2022. Last year, I was honored to receive the 2022 Outstanding Social Studies Leadership award from GCSS.

As an advocate for civic engagement, I have served on the Columbia County Planning Commission and the boards of: Winfield Community Center, Compass for Hope Homeless Outreach, American Civil War Museum, KSU Museum of History & Holocaust Education, and ME Freeman Elementary School.

If elected, I would promote protecting social studies instructional time, educate leaders on the positive impact of social studies on literacy, and support teachers in developing engagement, civic participation, and relevance in instruction. This office would allow me a larger platform to continue in my mission to advocate for Social Studies education and civic engagement.


Board of Trustees – Seat 1

Piper McKinnon

I am honored to be nominated to serve on the Georgia Council for the Social Studies Board of Trustees. The council has been very instrumental in supporting and guiding me throughout my career, and it would be a privilege to have the opportunity to give back.

I began my career as a classroom teacher in Meriwether County in 1993. In 2002, I transitioned to Muscogee County where I taught until 2014, at which time I became an academic coach, and ultimately moved into my current role of eight years as the Muscogee County grades 6-12 Social Studies Content Specialist.

These collective experiences have made it possible for me to continually develop my own learning, such as facilitating professional development opportunities for teachers and administrators, serving as a member of the social studies GSE revision team, serving on the Georgia Social Studies State Assessment Data Review Committee, contributing to the Seventh Grade Social Studies Teacher Notes, and serving as a GCSS conference presenter. A recent career highlight was being named the Columbus Bar Association’s 2023 Liberty Bell Award recipient for cultivating civic awareness and engagement in the community through civics education.

I am honored to be considered to serve on the GCSS Board of Trustees and I will continue to support and advocate for authentic, multi-perspective social studies learning for all students across the state of Georgia.


Virnilisa Printup

I am honored to be nominated to serve on the GCSS Board of Trustees.


As an alumna of Presbyterian College, I am always searching for ways to fulfill the school’s motto, “While We Live, We Serve.”  Throughout my career, I have served students, teachers and leaders in several roles, including teacher, graduation coach, and instructional coach. Currently, I serve as the Social Studies Coordinator for Rockdale County Schools.


For the last three years, I have humbly served on the GCSS board.  If reelected, I promise to serve the members of GCSS by providing a listening ear and a voice for all stakeholders. I will continue to be an activist for powerful and authentic Social Studies instruction, civic engagement and civil discourse, student voice, diversity and inclusion. I have loved serving Georgia’s Social Studies educators in this capacity. I hope that you will show your support by voting for me to serve on the GCSS Board. 


Board of Trustees – Seat 2

Eric Lauterbach

My name is Eric Lauterbach, and I am honored to be nominated to serve on the board of GCSS. I have a life-long passion for Social Studies and believe that Social Studies is the most important content a student will learn during their K-12 education. No matter what a student does after graduating from high school, they will be part of the economic system, governed by our laws (and hopefully a voter), and impacted by our history and world events.  It is our duty as social studies educators to ensure our students receive a level of social studies instruction to equip them to understand and participate in the world around them.

I am entering my 21st year in education. I am currently the Secondary Social Studies Content Specialist for Forsyth County Schools, a position that I have held for the past 6 years. As the Social Studies Content Specialist, I have developed curriculum, conducted professional development, and led resource review and selection. In this position, I have also served as the District Social Studies Fair Coordinator and have helped to grow our district fair to 190 projects and 340 participating students in our fair for the 22-23 school year. At the state level, I have served on the Economics Course Review Committee and I am currently serving on the Social Studies Advisory Council. Prior to my current position, I was a classroom teacher for 14 years in Forsyth County at three different high schools. During my time in the classroom, I taught Economics, American Government, AP Macroeconomics, US History, AP Psychology, World Geography, and AP US Government and Politics. I also served as department chair for two years and coached Mock Trial for 12 years. I hold a Bachelor of Science in Economics and Political Science from Berry College and Juris Doctor from Georgia State University. I received my post-baccalaureate teacher certification through University of North Georgia.

In today’s world, students are entering a very divisive world with a wide variety of media sources. As a result, social studies skills such as civil discourse and critical analysis have become even more important.  If elected to serve on the board, I will work to advocate for Social Studies education and for our teachers to help them equip their students with the skills and knowledge they will need to be an engaged citizen for the world in which they are entering.  


Jeremy Nix

I am honored to be nominated for a position to serve on the GCSS Board of Trustees. I currently serve as the Director of Social Studies, K-5 for Gwinnett County Public Schools. Previously, I served as a classroom teacher and assistant principal. In 2022, I was honored to receive the Outstanding Social Studies Leader Award in 2022 from GCSS. I am an avid proponent for the teaching and learning of social studies every day in all grade levels. I hold a PhD in Teaching and Learning Social Studies from Georgia State University. I enjoy leading professional learning with teachers in my district and at conferences like GCSS and NCSS (National Council for the Social Studies). As a GCSS Board Member, I will build on the strong foundation of GCSS to promote authentic and meaningful social studies instruction and teacher support across our state.    


Board of Trustees – Seat 3

Brandon R. Gerty

It is an honor to be considered for the Georgia Council for the Social Studies Nomination Committee to support social studies throughout the state. I obtained my B.A in History from Fort Valley State University and my Master of Arts in Teaching from Georgia College and State University. I am particularly passionate about educating students on the diverse world in which they live and am committed to personal and professional growth to help achieve this goal. I have been an educator for five years in Bibb County School District and an active member of GCSS since October 2022. This opportunity will allow me to contribute effectively to the organization’s growth while expanding fellow educators’ growth within the discipline of Social Studies.

I am confident that I would be an asset to the committee, as I possess excellent interpersonal skills and am comfortable communicating with individuals from diverse backgrounds. As the Social Studies department chairperson at Weaver Middle School, I have proven leadership qualities, strong organizational skills, and am highly detail oriented. I am skilled in recognizing talents and attributes that could be leveraged for the growth of the organization and would be able to use these skills to identify individuals who would make excellent additions to the organization's legacy and.

I am highly committed to the mission and vision of GCSS, and I would be grateful for the opportunity to contribute to their goals and objectives further. Serving on the Nominations Committee would enable me to contribute to the organization positively and have a significant impact on the organization's future and my professional growth. 


Pauncho Hufstetler

I grew up in Thomasville, Georgia, a small town in rural south Georgia that’s not far from Tallahassee. I was raised in a working-class family that stressed education. My dad was a police o?cer who worked in drug enforcement and my mother was a seamstress. I graduated high school from Thomas County Central in June of 1993. I attended the University of Georgia (Go Dawgs!) and earned my B.A. in History in 1997. I attended graduate school at Piedmont College where I earned my M.A. in broad ?eld Social Science Education in 1999.


I started teaching at Bainbridge High School in the fall of 1998 as I was completing my Master’s degree. Bainbridge, Georgia is another small town in rural south Georgia near my hometown of Thomasville. Although teaching for me began as a job, it has evolved into a very rewarding career. For twenty-?ve years, my life has been enriched by teaching U.S. History, A.P. U.S. History, and Humanities. Teaching all di?erent levels of students has given me the chance to appreciate the di?erent ability levels of the students I’m responsible for. It has been my great fortune to have been named STAR Teacher in 2015 and 2021. My colleagues voted me “Teacher of the Year” for 2018-2019. It would be another honor for me to serve on the board of the Georgia Council for the Social Studies. My hope is that my experience of teaching in a rural area outside of Atlanta will bring a voice to this board for others who teach in similar areas.