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AJC top teacher Lynnette Lindesay of Fulton helps students follow their passion

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 have a trait in common: 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 from Monday to 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.

Lynnette Lindesay from Elkins Pointe Middle School in Fulton County was nominated by student Divya Nori, who, in part, wrote:

There are teachers who are enthusiastic and have a sense of humor, while others are strict and challenging. Now and then, a teacher is so dedicated that they show you that learning is not boring or pointless. Ms. Lindesay has accomplished all of these things and taught me the most important lesson of all: never stop doing something that you love.

As Elkins Pointe Middle School's Business and Computer Science teacher as well as the Technology Liaison, Ms. Lindesay has helped me reach heights that I would not have known existed without her. She encouraged me to participate in the Georgia Educational Technology Fair when I was in 7th grade. She took time out of her day to mock judge me and help me prepare. Her feedback was extremely valuable, and I won third place in the state.

Ms. Lindesay supported me again in 8th grade, pushing me to participate. Her constructive criticism gave me the confidence to help me win first place in the state. Also, her enthusiasm gave me the idea to pilot the app at my school with a small group of students. Ms. Lindesay made time to help me talk to the principal about the idea and facilitate a pilot. Her passion inspired me to continue app design and programming.

Additionally, I was in her class all three years that I was in middle school, and every year she challenged me in new ways. My favorite project was a simulated “Shark Tank” presentation in which we had to pitch a business idea to her, and she would ask us questions. This assignment was innovative and interesting, while also effectively teaching us important computer skills and the steps it takes to start a business.

While in 10 years I may not remember everything she taught me, I will remember how she inspired me to follow my passion. When I wanted to stop because one else was doing it and didn’t want anyone else to know, Ms. Lindesay never failed to tell me that in the future what everyone thinks will not matter. What will matter is what you learn, how you use it, and how happy it makes you. I will never forget that piece of advice.

Thank you, Ms. Lindesay, for teaching me things I never knew, encouraging me in ways that I could never have imagined, and reaching me like no one has.


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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.