State’s top teacher to speak March 23

Published 1:56 pm Monday, March 15, 2010

Blakely—Area residents and the Bainbridge College (BC) community have the opportunity to hear Georgia’s 2010 Teacher of the Year, Gwen Desselle, talk about “Change is Not a 4-Letter Word” during her visit to BC Early County Center on Tuesday, March 23.

The meeting is set for 2 p.m. in the atrium lobby.

Her presentation will highlight needs for change in teaching, in relationships with parents, the community and fellow teachers, and changes necessary in instruction.

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For example, she speaks about teaching at-risk kids and the lessons she has learned from her 32 years of teaching about the best ways to reach these student.

Born and reared in Colquitt County, Mrs. Desselle teaches social studies at Colquitt County High School. The classroom veteran has taught most of the social sciences but concentrates primarily in world history and United States history. She taught advanced level classes but the last few years has concentrated on teaching inclusion classes, combining regular and special education instruction.

Her determination to ensure that all students graduate led her to accept a position with the local night school program to assist students challenged by socio-economic or behavioral issues that prevented them from attending day school.

In 2005, Desselle earned her education specialist degree in secondary education and is a graduate of Taft Institute in Government from the University of Georgia (UGA). She has certification in advanced placement European history and in 1994 was selected as one of 10 teachers from the southeastern United States to sail aboard the USS Constitution, also known as Old Ironsides.

She earned her undergraduate and master’s degrees in history from Valdosta State College (now University) and a T-5 teaching certificate. She taught four years at Valdosta High School before returning to her hometown to teach. She also taught night classes several years for Brewton-Parker College at its off-campus program in Colquitt County.

The wife of James Desselle, a sixth-grade social studies teacher at Williams Middle School, and mother of Jay Desselle, a UGA junior majoring in international studies and minoring in history, Mrs. Desselle enjoys traveling and has visited all 50 states, four continents, three oceans and many countries.