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‘Virtually Unstoppable’: Dawson County teacher and students honored by BOE for Exceptional Children’s Week
Dawson County BOE
The Board of Education building at 28 Main Street. - photo by Erica Jones

The Dawson County Board of Education celebrated the school system’s exceptional students and Black’s Mill Elementary School Teacher Jenny Disharoon this week, in honor of Exceptional Children’s Week. 

At the board’s monthly meeting on Tuesday, April 14, BOE members heard a presentation from Director of Exceptional Students Todd Langley on Exceptional Children’s Week, which was held by the school system at the beginning of March. 

Each year, the Georgia Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) sponsors Exceptional Children’s Week as part of its mission to improve education for children with exceptionalities or special needs, according to Langley. 

Langley said that currently, the Dawson County school system has 86 students with individualized education plans enrolled in the schools and 632 students enrolled in the Exceptional Children’s Program. 

“We are continuing to grow in Dawson County with our Exceptional Children program and Community Based program,” Langley said. “It’s really great to see that.”

According to Langley, the 2021 theme for Exceptional Children’s Week was “Virtually Unstoppable” and included an artwork contest with submissions from students in all of the county’s schools. 

“We had over 30 submissions including a bunch of virtual ones which was fantastic,” Langley said. “We had two overall winners: Owen Dawson, first-grader at Black’s Mill Elementary School, and Lucas Carlisle, eighth-grader at Dawson County Middle School.” 

According to Langley, Exceptional Children’s Week also included awards for the top school in the district, which was given to Black’s Mill Elementary School, and the presentation of the Philip Wright Award, which was presented to Disharoon.

Langley said that the Philip Wright Award is given each year to an employee in the Exceptional Children’s Department, who is selected by their peers 

“When I observed Ms. Disharoon’s class I noticed her love for teaching, her love for the school district and her love for her students,” Langley said. “She’s a genuinely kind and empathetic person so I really enjoyed the time that I got to spend in her classroom and she’s definitely a great representative of Dawson County Schools.” 

Following Langley’s presentation, Superintendent Damon Gibbs thanked all the teachers and staff in the Exceptional Children program for their hard work, not only during Exceptional Children’s Week but every day during the school year. 

“We just have the greatest kids in this program,” Gibbs said. “All the work our teachers and staff across the district do for this program is greatly appreciated.”