For the first time in the 24-year history of Georgia's Pre-K Program, Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) and the Naserian Foundation named two outstanding educators as Georgia's Pre-K Program Teachers of the Year for 2016-2017. First Lady Sandra Deal, Naserian Foundation CEO Stephanie Blank, and Commissioner Amy M. Jacobs joined together to announce that Bethlehem Elementary School teacher Connie Ellington was named as a Georgia Pre-K Teacher of the Year.
Mrs. Ellington believes her "primary role as a Pre-K teacher is to ensure that our newest Georgia students begin their formal schooling with a holistic education and passion and love for learning. The classroom is filled with encouragement and love, a safe place to take risks for learning, and developmentally appropriate practices with teachers utilizing purposeful reflection and action for each individual student." She goes on to say, "Children who feel protected, valued and empowered with confidence are self-motivated learners. The beauty of teaching four and five year olds is that they believe they can do almost anything, and my assistant teacher and I take that attitude and run with it."
"This is the first year for the state award, and Mrs. Ellington has set the bar high. We value not only her leadership at her school, but the leadership she has shown throughout the entire Pre-K program has been exceptional. Mrs. Ellington is a remarkable educator," remarked Barrow County School Superintendent Dr. Chris McMichael.
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. Pictured: Connie Ellington and Mrs. Sandra Deal.