BOE recognizes GADOE STAR Teachers of the Month at meeting

Published 9:16 am Monday, March 21, 2022

Thursday night during the Board of Education meeting, Marrisa Cerrone and her team were recognized as the Georgia Department of Education’s STAR Teachers of the Month.

According to Director of Exceptional Education, Catherine Gossett, she first found out about nominations through a newsletter sent to her for teachers who work with special needs students.

“A director can nominate someone from their area,” she explained. “I nominated Mrs. Cerrone because of her work with Latte Love.”

The DOE then receives all the nomination letters and selects the winner for the month.

Gossett said the STAR Teachers of the Month is fairly new, so this is the first time a teacher and team from Bainbridge High School has won.

Since starting at BHS this year, Cerrone and her team of Brenda Bush, Beth Dollar and Horace Alday has created a structured environment for students with special needs by providing them with a real world opportunity inside the school with Latte Love.

Gossett explained to the crowd that Latte Love allows the students to complete tasks off a checklist.

“They have to get coffee for the staff, they have to deliver it to the staff and they have to communicate with the staff,” she said. “Some of these students are non-verbal and aren’t used to doing this.”

In order to help the students who are non-verbal, teachers have been using communication devices and picture cards to help the students communicate with the faculty and staff.

“This staff really embraces our motto of engagement, excellence and accountability for all of our students,” Gossett finished. “Thank you for all you do.”

She then handed out certificates to Cerrone, Dollar, Bush and Alday.

Superintendent Tim Cochran went on to say that Cerrone, Dollar, Bush and Alday are prime examples of what is right in public education.

“They go above and beyond for some really special kids in our district,” he said. “Some people think we may not push these kids as hard, but these teachers push them hard and love them hard.”

Cochran then went on to invite the Board of Education to join the teachers any time they are available to see the students participating in Latte Love.