Meet the Atlanta Families’ Awards winners: Deirdre A. Denis

We continue our series on the Atlanta Families’ Awards for Excellence in Education winners with a look at Deirdre A. Denis of Whitefoord Elementary School. Denis has proudly served as an elementary school educator for the past 17 years. She started her teaching career at Longfellow Humanities Magnet in St. Paul, Minn., where she spent five years as a fourth grade teacher. She joined the Whitefoord Elementary family 12 years ago.  While there she has served as a third grade teacher, grade-level chairperson, and as a member of the school’s Leadership Team.  Currently, she is the science teacher for grades third through fifth, and is a member of the school’s Design Team. She was recognized for her hard work and dedication to the Whitefoord school community during the 2003-04 school year while serving as its Teacher of the Year.

Denis believes in the value of a good education, and has demonstrated this belief through her own efforts. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education from Morris Brown College (1991) and a Master’s of Education degree in Elementary Education from the University of Minnesota (1993). She is currently enrolled at Walden University pursuing a Doctorate of Education degree in Teacher Leadership.

“One of the greatest rewards we are given in this profession is the opportunity to impact the future,” Denis says. “The children we serve are the lenses through which we look to view our future as a society.  Although we may not be able to control or fully predict what will happen down the road, as practitioners we are in a position to tip society’s scale towards a brighter tomorrow.”

For her Atlanta Families’ Awards project, Denis plans to train a team of 20 students to compete in the state’s Science Olympiad competition.  The Science Olympiad is a nationally recognized program for enhancing science education and interest in science. The competition for third-through-fifth-grade students is held annually at Kennesaw State University. The competition for this year will be held on May 15. This will be the first year Whitefoord students have competed in an academic competition of this nature.

“I’m always looking for ways to pique the kids’ interest in science,” Denis explains, “and I thought that a competition would be a good way to do that. It’s a way to apply content knowledge as well as go through the basic scientific processes.”

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  1. Ms. Dennis is a class act! Throughout my son’s time at Whitefoord, Ms. Dennis was a great support. She encouraged him to join the science club and she led our kids to the Science Olympiad for the first time. Some of the teams placed against several other schools with much more experience! She cares about the kids and deserves to be rewarded.

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