Congratulations to Our 2017-2018
Employees of the Year!
IHS Teacher of the Year - Ms. Kerry Shorr
Ms. Kerry Shorr, English Language Arts Teacher and Department Chairperson, was selected by the IHS faculty and staff as our
2017-2018 Teacher of the Year.
Ms. Shorr has served as an active member of the Independence School Improvement Team for the past 8 years and has shown great dedication to fostering the improvement of our school, her own professional development, and the learning of our students. During the 2014-15 school year Ms. Shorr's American Literature students had one of the largest growth margins within the school district. Ms. Shorr's vast knowledge of her subject matter has made her the leader of our Language Department and a leader at the county and state-wide levels.
From 2008-2012, Ms. Shorr served as the Fulton County coordinator for the Georgia High School Graduation Test Summer Remediation; in this role, she directed teachers throughout the county in intervention skills for struggling readers and writers. When the state of Georgia adopted the Common Core Standards, Ms. Shorr was selected to write the American Literature curriculum for the Fulton County School District. Because of her content knowledge and ability to effectively incorporate technology and personalized learning in to her teaching, Ms. Shorr is currently serving as one of Fulton County's Language Arts Learning Architects; this is a team that was selected by the District Humanities Department to write a new, standards-based curriculum that will be adopted in 2018.
Ms. Shorr consistently uses effective and innovative instructional methods and strives to incorporate new instructional materials and the use of technology into both our school and her own classroom instruction. Because of her commitment to professional development and seeking out best practices, Ms. Shorr was selected to serve as one of Fulton County's Technology Vanguards. In this role she researches new teaching methods and coaches her peers and co-workers in ways to deliver the best curriculum practices that incorporate transformative technology. She attends extensive, innovative professional development as a member of this team. Also at the district level, Ms. Shorr serves as Independence High School's representative on the Superintendent's Advisory Council. She is a member of the National Council of Teachers of English, the Georgia Educational Technology Consortium, the Professional Association of Georgia Educators, and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development- attending conferences locally and throughout the United States.
Ms. Shorr brings her knowledge and enthusiasm for professional development back to her peers and serves as in integral part of our Professional Development Team. Along with her peers, Ms. Shorr directs several of our Professional Learning Communities and our school-wide Professional Development. Throughout her eight years at Independence she has been a mentor to new Fulton County teachers and student-teachers from Georgia State University, Kennesaw State University, and Mercer University.
IHS Professional of the Year and
Northwest Learning Community Professional of the Year - Ms. Detra Miles-Burrell
Ms. Detra Miles-Burrell, Graduation Coach, was selected by the IHS faculty and staff as our 2017-2018 Professional Employee of the Year.
Ms. Burrell is a bit uncomfortable when people compliment her by saying that she goes "above and beyond the call of duty" in her position as the Independence High School Graduation Coach. She tells them that in our non-traditional setting, she believes that all she does is a part of her job. Ms. Burrell jokes with her students that she is a "professional mama." She will sit one-on-one with students to help them complete their college applications (and mail them!) as well as the FAFSA. Ms. Burrell has called students' employers to help them get time off from work to take the SAT, has attended soccer games, funerals and college graduations of her students. She has stated, "I absolutely love what I do, so going the extra mile is simply the physical expression of loving my job."
During the almost twenty-five years Ms. Burrell has worked with Fulton County Schools, she has held nearly every possible position in a school; from classroom teacher, to Administrative Intern, to Assistant Principal. She has worked as a Title I Coordinator, an ESOL Counselor and a Graduation Coach. Ms. Burrell has worked in both North and South County schools and believes that all her prior experiences have come together to prepare her to work with the students she has today. When working with Independence students, Ms. Burrell draws from a vast arsenal of knowledge and experience to meet their needs. Ms. Burrell states, "While I have seen a little bit of everything, I realize that I do not know everything and I am always open to learn more."
In addition to her responsibilities as the Graduation Coach, Ms. Burrell is the Response to Intervention/Student Support Team Chairperson, the Sponsor of the Young Women's Empowerment Group and the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports Data and Behavior Specialist. She is a Relay for Life IHS Team Member, serves on the Graduation Committee and assists the sponsors of the IHS Interact Club.
When asked to list four factors that she believes played a part in her selection as our Professional of the Year, Ms. Burrell shared that she has a gift of building rapport and trust with students, teachers and parents. She has vision. She doesn't just see the student or program before her, she sees what they could be. She is also task/goal oriented. She is not content until a task is completed or her goal reached. And ultimately, Ms. Burrell believes in happy endings. "Every child, every person can succeed. Failure is just a stepping stone to success."
Ms. Gaganjot Singh, Chairperson of the IHS Science Department, has been selected by the Georgia Science Teachers Association to present at their 2017 conference in February. Ms. Singh's topic will be "Personalize Learning Using Data Driven Assessments."
INVITES ALPHARETTA TEACHER TO WASHINGTON, DC
TEACHER SELECTED TO ATTEND C-SPAN’S 2016 EDUCATORS’ CONFERENCE
WASHINGTON (June 28,
Tashema Atkinson, a social studies teacher at Independence High School,
is one of 30 educators from across the nation selected to attend C-SPAN
Classroom’s 2016 Educators’ Conference in Washington, DC, July 14-15, 2016.
The conference provides
educators with the opportunity to explore C-SPAN’s programs and C-SPAN
Classroom’s free primary source materials. Attendees discover how to
incorporate these resources into their curriculums and create engaged learning
experiences for students.
Atkinson competed with
high school teachers from across the country to secure a place at the
conference. C-SPAN provides roundtrip airfare, hotel accommodations and meals
for the two days.
selected by a panel of C-SPAN representatives and evaluated based on their
dedication to learning new resources, applying them in the classroom
environment, and sharing their professional development experiences in their
conference provides an opportunity for teachers to discover creative strategies
to integrate C-SPAN programming into classroom activities,” said Craig
McAndrew, C-SPAN Manager of Education Relations. “Our goal is to connect
students with public affairs content that cultivates a better understanding of
how our federal government works."
will hear from C-SPAN staff and leadership, including Founder and Executive
Chairman Brian Lamb, to learn more about the public affairs network. In
addition, C-SPAN Political Editor Steve Scully will speak about Campaign 2016
during the conference dinner.
Ms. Linda Legro with Mr. Hershel Greenblat and other members of the Class of 2016
Twenty educators from Georgia and Alabama participated in the 25th annual Summer Institute on Teaching the Holocaust from June 6 to 10 at the Breman Museum’s Weinberg Center for Holocaust Education.
The week of in-depth seminars gives teachers the tools and experience to understand and teach the Holocaust. The program includes daily meetings with Holocaust survivors and instruction by educators from such top institutions as the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies.