(Decatur, GA) – The Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) is pleased to announce that Malissa Brinson-Gordon was named the agency's 2023 DJJ Teacher of the Year. Brinson-Gordon, a social studies and English teacher at the Martha K. Glaze Regional Youth Detention Center (RYDC) in Clayton County, Ga., was recognized for her achievement during a special presentation at the DJJ Board Meeting on January 26.

"I am honored to recognize Malissa Brinson-Gordon, a dedicated teacher in the Georgia Preparatory Academy, as DJJ Teacher of the Year," said Interim Commissioner Shawanda Reynolds-Cobb. "Her focus on building strong connections with youth and providing a caring environment speaks to her dedication and commitment to students. We are grateful to have her as a part of our team of educators. 

Brinson-Gordon is a passionate educator who believes that all children can learn and thrive in an environment that is stimulating and appropriate to their unique needs and abilities. 

"There is only one way to succeed in anything and that is to give it everything," said Brinson-Gordon. "So, dream big, believe in yourself, anything is possible!"

With DJJ since 2018, Brinson-Gordon has more than 20 years of experience as an educator. She began her career with the Dekalb County School System in 2000 as a paraprofessional, assisting students with severe and profound disabilities. She also worked with Atlanta Public School System in 2014, where she taught in various classroom settings, including co-teaching in a special education inclusion classroom as well as co-teaching with an English language learning teacher. 

Brinson-Gordon holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Morris Brown College and a master's degree in Elementary and Middle School Education from the University of Phoenix.


The Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice is a multi-faceted agency that serves the state's justice-involved youth up to 21 years of age. The Department's mission is to transform young lives by providing evidence-based rehabilitative treatment services and supervision, strengthening youth and families' well-being, and fostering safe communities. Visit us online atwww.djj.georgia.gov.


(Attention Media Outlet: You have permission to use the photo created by DJJ. Pictured are DJJ Interim Commissioner Shawanda Reynolds-Cobb, Malissa Brinson-Gordon and DJJ Board Chair Sandra Heath Taylor.)