Jamie Lynn McFarland, a Gwinnett County native who considers it her calling to work with special needs students, was awarded Thursday with the school district’s highest annual honor — Teacher of the Year.
McFarland, who teaches students with severe intellectual disabilities in grades 3 through 5 at Rock Springs Elementary School, began her teaching career in 2011. She works to ensure her students learn skills to take care of themselves and that they interact with general education students.
A tearful McFarland cited her Christian faith, her parents and administrators as keys to her classroom success after learning she won during a banquet at the Infinite Energy Forum in Duluth where all 135 Gwinnett public schools honored its Teacher of the Year.
McFarland urged educators to have special needs students learn in classrooms more frequently with general education students. She said her students are her inspiration.
“Listen to them and get to know them,” McFarland said of special needs students. “You will start to see what I see everyday…They are incredible.”
McFarland will receive several gifts, including a new car for one year, a laptop computer and $1,000 each year she’s a teacher in Gwinnett.
McFarland will now compete for the Georgia title.
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