“At the end of last year, teachers were notified that the governors’ office was offering this grant and I thought I might as well apply, but when the school told me I’d won the grant, I was very surprised and excited,” she said.
The Innovation in Teaching Competition recognizes and awards teachers who demonstrate innovative teaching strategies which, according to Principal Brent McBride of Kingsley Charter, is exactly what Dougherty does best.
“I feel that she is an innovative teacher because every time I walk into her classroom, the students are actively engaged and she uses various instructional technologies to reach her students,” he said.
In addition to the grant provided to the school, Dougherty will receive a $2,000 stipend and Georgia Public Broadcasting will film her teaching in her classroom as well as conduct interviews with her about her teaching methods and strategies.
The videos and her supplementary materials will be provided to other educators as a learning tool.
McBride said Dougherty excels at connecting with students from various socio-economic backgrounds and helping them learn through technology.
“Some of these students have access to these technologies at home and some experience these tools for the first time at school and this is the only opportunity they have to lay their hands on this kind of technology,” he said.
“We also have students from varying learning groups; some are struggling to master the standards and others are in the gifted program. [Dougherty’s] classroom is a complex environment and she excels at taking those complexities and makes sure each student is engaged and learning.”
McBride said the grant money earned by Dougherty’s achievement will go towards programs in the school that she is involved with, such as increasing student literacy.
“We are still discussing where the funds will be best used, but I am involved with the level book room committee, which is working on providing the students with the resources they need to read on their grade levels,” Dougherty said.
Although she said winning the grant was exciting, Dougherty emphasized the best part of being a teacher was her interaction with the students.
“I love seeing my students learn and grow. We work hard every day and it’s great to see the progress they make throughout the year,” she said.