Ana Teasley was “born to teach” at the Phoenix Performance Learning Center, according to the school’s principal.
“She is an inspiration not only to the students, but to all of the staff as well,” said Jennifer Perkins. “She creates a warm, loving environment and her energy is contagious.”
Rome City Schools set up the Phoenix Performance Learning Center, or PLC, to offer an option to students who have problems — academic, social, medical — with a traditional high school environment.
Along with smaller class sizes, the program is self-paced. Students work online and in a classroom.
Teasley, an English teacher at the PLC, was named Teacher of the Year by the Georgia Association for Alternative Education during the group’s annual meeting.
“I was not expecting this at all,” Teasley said. “I see this as a reward for the whole school and the other teachers who offer so much support to me.”
Teasley said she is constantly inspired by her fellow staff members and her students.
“The teachers here are such amazing leaders, and the fact that I get to play a role in this program means so much to me,” she said. “I see every one of these students as a story and I am so proud that I am even one line in each of those stories.”
The students and staff of the PLC celebrated Teasley’s win Monday, with cake and gifts for their teacher. Every student wrote a letter of congratulations, and school officials bound them in a book to present to her.
Teasley, who is in her fifth year of teaching, said she had met a former PLC student Monday morning.
“They told me how much the school meant to them and how much it helped,” she said. “Just hearing that and watching her tear up, it made me tear up too, and it made me realize how important this school is.”
Michael Buck, Rome City Schools superintendent, came to the celebration and discussed how proud he is of Teasley and the school.
“It’s such an honor to be recognized and it is obvious that Ms. Teasley builds strong relationships with her students and fellow teachers,” he said. “The award is confirmation of what we hear about her and the school all the time.”