Starting with this issue, The Exceptional Times, a monthly put out by the school system’s Exceptional Children (EC) Department, is adding a new section called TeachED—growing one idea and one story at a time.
Established by EC program manager Doria Sullivan and EC administrative assistant Heather Surratt, the feature will spotlight some of the school system’s Exceptional Children (EC) teachers and teacher assistants.
As it says in a release announcing the feature, “We have some amazing individuals working in the Winston-Salem Forsyth County School system. Let’s recognize them and inspire everyone at the same time. Our goal is to select an individual from the elementary, middle and high school level each month.”
Here is the piece for this month:
William Wham… He’s Our Man!
Will Wham is a second-year teacher who is part-time EC teacher (serving the EC population in small groups during the morning) and part-time regular education teacher (fifth- grade inclusion – ELA and math classes) at Vienna Elementary. He tutors after school, works tirelessly in the building over the weekends and plans great lessons. In addition Mr. Wham is often at the community center watching his students play in their basketball games, etc. Will is the school mascot - the tiger -when needed. He dresses up in the Tiger costume and comes to the Bully walk, to Harris Teeter to encourage others to link their VIC cards to Vienna, to Vienna’s 5K and anywhere else the tiger may need to be seen...
The math teacher he works with noted: “Will puts more time into his students than any teacher I have ever known. He visits sick parents, he tutors every free possible second he has. He is an amazing team teacher/player. Last year he wrote each of the rising 6th graders that he taught a personal letter. The students felt so important. There is nothing he wouldn't do to help a student succeed.”
Other colleagues commented: “Will is there to help any student in need. He is very approachable which makes the students feel comfortable when they need an extra hand with school work. Will does this with kindness and love. He also brings humor to the classroom which makes working with him pleasant and the kids love him for it.” and “I have never heard Will say "no" when asked to do something, whether it is another teacher or student. He always goes the extra mile.”
Will grew up in Pfafftown and attended Vienna from Kindergarten through second grade. He is passionate about learning and helping children develop life-long skills. One of Will’s rules on his web page says it all: “Do your best.” He certainly does. Will Wham is a gem and is definitely an EC teacher who goes above and beyond.
Robin Douglas… You’ve Been TeachED!
Robin Douglas has been with Southeast Middle School for several years and was a first-time Case Manager when she was hired. Robin is such a cheerleader for students. She always puts the students first in every situation. Her paperwork is impeccable!
Robin has truly stepped up her leadership this school year. She has started a school-based Special Olympics team, called SOAR – Southeast Olympians Are Remarkable! This team has competed in the Special Olympics bowling tournament and plans to compete in the upcoming basketball and track events. These students are inspiring to watch – they are passionate about competing and are very good sports – this is the perfect representation of Southeast Middle School.
In addition, Robin has started leading staff workshops at Southeast Middle School. She partnered with one of the guidance counselors and facilitated an Early Release day workshop on working with Autistic students. There was such overwhelmingly positive feedback from this workshop that Robin will do additional workshops during the summer learning conference for the district.
Southeast Middle School is so proud to have Robin Douglas as their EC Case Manager. Her positive attitude and work ethic are contagious. Robin is a problem solver and works hard to collaborate, sharing creative possible ideas and solutions. Robin Douglas is an EC Case Manager who goes above and beyond.
Leshan Cunningham – A Shining Star at Carter
Leshan Cunningham is a first-year teacher who walked into her very own classroom at the end of first semester. She was expected to build a rapport with the two teacher assistants, 10 students and the rest of her colleagues very quickly. Not only did this young lady come in and do just that, she has gone above and beyond the call of duty with acclimating her students to hands-on activities that are aligned with Styer-Fitzgerald Functional Academics. Ms. Cunningham walked right in and hit the ground running with building sound relationships with parents, teachers, teacher assistants in her classroom and students. She has a wealth of knowledge that she shares each day with her colleagues.
Leshan brings a positive attitude and energy to Carter High School which is exemplary to her co-workers and students. She approaches each day as a new opportunity to help her students learn and grow as they prepared for adult life. Ms. Cunningham is truly a wonderful asset to the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School system and goes above and beyond!
To read the March issue, go to Exceptional Times