Position: Special Education Teacher School: Temple Elementary School
School District: Carroll County School District
City, State: Temple, Georgia
About the Nominee: Tessa Thomas is a LifeChanger because she genuinely cares, and her students and parents know it. Here are a few examples:
Recently, Mrs. Thomas' former student, who is now in middle school, contacted Mrs. Thomas. The student did not go into details, but told Mrs. Thomas that they had almost followed through on a bad decision. This particular student faces challenges in their personal life. The student thanked Mrs. Thomas for always telling them to stop and think before they reacted or did something they would regret. Mrs. Thomas encouraged this person daily when she was this student's teacher. She made the student feel that they had worth and that they had to make good decisions. This student contacted Mrs. Thomas on their own and thanked her.
Many parents know Mrs. Thomas cares for their children. They know it because she doesn't just say it - she proves it. When Mrs. Thomas contacts these parents with news that they need to meet to make changes to their child's IEP, these parents trust her and take her recommendations without resistance. They often request for her to be their child's teacher.
Additionally, Mrs. Thomas is a LifeChanger because she works hard. She will sometimes work until 8:00 PM to get all her paperwork in order. She often says, "The child comes first, as well as making sure the child is being served and served correctly!" Most of all, she wants to help her students make progress.
Finally, there was a student that Mrs. Thomas felt could qualify for the gifted program. This student did not have support at home, and the cut off for gifted testing was approaching as the student grew older. Mrs. Thomas worked extremely hard to ensure this student had the required paperwork and that arrangements could be made for the student. She knew it could change the student's life forever. Mrs. Thomas made sure that student was tested, and was accepted into the gifted classes. The student was so happy over their accomplishment and thankful for Mrs. Thomas. Mrs. Thomas changed this student's life!