Alison Patton said she was shocked when her name was called.
Patton, a fifth-grade teacher at George Washington Carver Elementary School in Richmond Hill, recently was at a Coastal Georgia Learning Resources System luncheon on Jekyll Island, where she and her peers were gathered to recognize the Bryan County Special Education Teacher of the Year.
Patton was the one who received the honor.
“I was speechless when they called my name. I have wanted to be a special-education teacher since I was 5 years old,” Patton said. “I had no idea.”
Bryan County Schools Special Education Director Jennifer Brendle presented the award to Patton.
Patton, who teaches math, English/language arts and other subjects and goes into multiple classrooms, said the notoriety was nice but, “I would do what I do without the recognition.”
“Coastal GLRS recognizes standing special-education teachers from each system in the District 15 network. It is a privilege to showcase the talents of these exceptional educators and express our gratitude for all of the many ways students with disabilities are positively impacted by such individuals,” the organization said in a written statement.
Patton, a co-teacher who works with more than 50 children with varying degrees of disabilities, including deafness, said not all students learn the same way.
“The biggest thing is to focus on what the kids’ needs are. We work one-on-one or in small groups. I really like working with the kids.”