MPS Teacher of the Year Grows Gardens into Grades

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Two Montgomery teachers have been named Teacher of the Year. But what sets them above other educators?

WRWYC TEACHERS PICOne of the winners, Dawn Ellis, is a special needs teacher at Peter Crump Elementary and said it is her dedication and hard work that helped her win the title.

“This administration has allowed me to take my ideas and passions and dreams and really put them into action,” Ellis said.

Ellis readily admits her lesson plans are out of the box.

“How can we get community involvement, how can we provide strategic learning opportunities for students, versus just, you know, typical paper-pencil,” she said.

Ellis and her students planted a garden to combine academics and life skills in one easy lesson.

“So the garden has kinda two components,” she explained. “We have raised beds, and in our classroom we also have a grow lab. So we actually get to go from seed to plate in the life cycle of plants.”

Ellis says her kids learn math, their shapes,biology  and even life skills while they plant everything from turnips, pumpkins and carrots. Principal Randy Shaw has worked with Ellis for over eight years, and knows she and the garden are making a difference in the students’ lives.

“She loves the kids number one, she’s dedicated to the job, she goes above and beyond,” Shaw said. “Anybody who watches her teach for any length of time can see that she is much more than a teacher. She’s a teacher, she’s a momma, she’s a friend, she’s a lot more than just a teacher.”

Ellis is an educator truly dedicated to her students.WRWYC TEACHERS PIC 1

“These kids are the joy of my life,” she said.

John Conway also received Montgomery Public School’s teacher of the year award. He teaches English at Booker T. Washington High School. Both he and Ellis will now compete for the state title.


Categories: Montgomery Metro, What’s Right