2017 Teacher Winner
SCHOOL: Toomer Elementary School, Atlanta Public Schools
Emily Max is a native of Atlanta, Georgia. She is a graduate from Georgia State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Mercer University with a Master in the Art of Teaching. She began her teaching career with Atlanta Public Schools fifteen years ago as a substitute teacher, then as a special education paraprofessional. Emily has worked for the last eight years as a classroom teacher in Pre-K and kindergarten at Toomer Elementary School. She has served on the Local School Council for two years and was elected to serve as Secretary of the GO Team, the Local School Governance Team. In 2015, she was awarded the Dream Big Challenge grant from Farmers Insurance. The funds were used to build Toomer’s Inclusive Playground for students of all abilities and the playground was featured on CNN Health Minute and in USA Today.
PROJECT: Bright Minds and Happy Hearts
Bright Minds and Happy Hearts is a project designed to help students learn to self-regulate their feelings and emotions in the classroom. As a district, we have added lessons and activities to help students learn to develop empathy, identify their emotions, and techniques for mindful relaxation. I plan to build upon the social emotional learning going on in our classrooms by providing students resources that help them to control their internal feelings through biofeedback and technology.