Position: Experiential Learning Coordinator/ Middle School Science Teacher
School: Cumberland Academy of Georgia
School District: Private
City, State: Atlanta, Georgia
About the Nominee: Mihkel Allpere is a wonderful teacher. His science classroom is one of the most popular places to be at Cumberland Academy, a school designed for students with special needs, particularly autism spectrum disorders. In his classroom, students know that they will be intellectually challenged and emotionally safe. The students know they will work hard in his class, but that the work will be rewarding. Not only does Mr. Allpere work with students academically, but he also helps them with social-emotional challenges. He is the go-to person on campus when dealing with a difficult student. Many times, he is the one with the key insight on how to connect with a hard to reach student. Mr. Allpere also works with a wilderness adventure therapy group during the summer, making sure students learn better coping skills for life, not just in the classroom.
Mr. Allpere has stepped into a leadership role this year, creating the position of "Experiential Learning Coordinator". His responsibilities include maintaining the school's on-campus fish hatchery, as well as the school garden and outdoor classroom. As coordinator, he also serves as a resource for teachers who want to include more experiential learning in their classes.