At the 15th Annual District 14 Special Education Teacher of the Year Luncheon, eight area teachers were recognized, including Celeste Welch of Evans County and Lisa Deloach of Candler County.
The Feb. 10 luncheon was held at Forest Heights Country Club in Statesboro, where each teacher of the year received a plaque, a trophy, a gift basket and the gratitude of the administrators who attended the event with them, said Dr. Alex Jordan, director of Southeast Georgia Learning Resources System.
Special Education teachers were chosen by their peers as tops in their field, he said.
"This dedicated group of individuals teaches students who have a variety of special needs on many different grade levels," Jordan said.
Having a child of her own with a learning disability, Deloach said she decided to pursue a degree in special education as a non-traditional student.
"I know what parents and students struggling with learning deal with," she said.
After completing her student teaching at Metter Middle, Deloach was hired there, and is now in her third year teaching 8th grade Math, English-Language Arts Inclusion and Resource Math.
Deloach currently resides outside Collins with husband Michael and their three children, Jake, Chanci and Annsley.
With a college background in communication disorders, Welch has worked as a speech-language pathologist for 18 years, in both the hospital rehabilitation setting and in the school setting.
"I enjoy working with parents and incredibly dedicated teachers to motivate students and celebrate their accomplishments," Welch said, "both in and out of the classroom."
Welch and her husband Clint live in Claxton with their three children Amelia, Jackson and Luke.
Georgia Teacher of the Year, Pam Williams from Appling County Schools, addressed the group about "The Language of Students" at Thursday's banquet.
Pam Williams was chosen to represent the over 100,000 teachers in Georgia for 2010-11, Jordan said.
Other 2010-11 recipients for Special Ed. Teacher of the Year were: Amy Spikes - Appling Co., Jason Trotter - Cedarwood Program, Kay Daniel - Jeff Davis Co., Margaret Redman - Toombs Co., Kimberly Heath - Vidalia City Schools and Jana Collins - Wayne Co.
The luncheon was sponsored by the Special Education Directors of District 14 and Southeast Georgia Learning Resources System.
The group is located in Claxton and provides professional learning and resources to educators, agencies and families of students with disabilities, Jordan said.