Michelle Dunlap

Position: Fifth Grade Gifted, Reading/Language Arts Teacher

School: South Olive Elementary School

School District: Palm Beach Schools

City, State: West Palm Beach, Florida

About the Nominee: Michelle Dunlap was nominated by a colleague, Jamie Bennett. Ms. Dunlap has the ability to bring joy into everything she puts her hands on. One can't spend time in her presence without smiling and, quite often, laughing out loud. Prior to her current role, she previously worked with ESE students in several inclusion classes, one of which was Jamie's. Every time she walked into the room, the students would clamor for her attention. She has the ability to calm any student who was feeling upset or unsure, and to "light the fire underneath" a student who wasn't trying their best. This year, she has been a model to the Gifted students she teaches and is having them partner with a younger ESE class. This has proven to benefit both the ESE students and the Gifted students.

She leads her colleagues in positive ways, making a difference in all of their lives. Ms. Dunlap is always available to help anyone in any way possible, often taking her own personal time. Jamie states that if they ever need a pick-me-up, they just pop their head into Ms. Dunlap's room for her never-ending smile.

Ms. Dunlap has made the school atmosphere one of joy. Pure joy.