Traci White, Director of Programs for Exceptional Children for the Baldwin County School District, received quite the surprise while attending the annual Georgia Association of Educational Leaders (GAEL) Conference this month in Jekyll Island, Ga. Each year, GAEL brings together educational professionals to discuss current trends and best practices to ensure our students in Georgia are receiving the highest quality education our public schools can provide. In some rare cases, they take the opportunity to commend those educators who have a proven record of going above and beyond for the students and communities they serve.
While it certainly wasn't a surprise for those who know her and get to work alongside her everyday, it was a total shock for Mrs. White as the announcement of her being selected as a recipient of the GAEL Outstanding Educator Award was the first she had any idea that she was being considered for the honor.
"I'm truly blown away for being selected for the GAEL Outstanding Educator Award," said White. "For myself, and like so many others, teaching is my passion but working with our special education students has been my personal calling. It's incredibly difficult and challenging work but it's also very rewarding to see the transformation and impact we can have on our students. I'm very thankful to GAEL for this prestigious award but I'm most thankful for the support I have from our teachers here in Baldwin County, Dr. Price, our board members and really the community as a whole. Truly, the biggest reason for this award is because of all of them."