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AJC top teacher Angela Gray of Gwinnett created 'Sunday Socials' in the park to engage kids

The AJC created the Celebrating Teachers Awards this year to showcase remarkable Georgia educators. More than 375 teachers were nominated in the inaugural round of the awards, and a panel of education professors chose 10 winners.

These teachers share a common trait: They go above and beyond for their students and their schools. Since this is Thanksgiving week, a time to express gratitude, I am sharing the nominating letters and photos of all 10 teachers, two each day through Friday. The new profiles will post early in the morning and mid-afternoon each day.

So, please check back and read about all 10. You will find inspiration. The nominating letters were read at a celebration a few weeks ago at Cox headquarters in honor of the winners.

Angela Gray from Baggett Elementary School in Gwinnett County was nominated by parent Diana Cabrera, who, in part, wrote:

Ms. Gray goes above and beyond the call of duty by ensuring that every single one of her students succeed. She is involved in their extracurricular activities, coming up with innovative ideas to keep the students engaged with activities that motivate the children to love school such as "Sunday Socials" at the park, where parents, teachers and students get together for a fun day.

"Rocket Ride” is another example where at the end of the school year she decorates her car as a rocket ship and visits every single one of her students houses to give them a warm goodbye, welcome them to the next school year and provides the kids with a summer packet for them to complete and return on their first day of class.

She also gives them a great book to start the new year.  She does the same thing during the Christmas break! Her genuine passion is teaching, and her gentle soul not only touches her students but us parents as well.


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About the Author

Maureen Downey has written editorials and opinion pieces about local, state and federal education policy since the 1990s.