Parkview grad gets teaching award

Sheena Varghese

Sheena Varghese

ATLANTA -- Teach for America announced last week the recipients of one of the organization's top awards. Among them: Sheena Varghese, a graduate of Parkview High School.

The award, which recognizes extraordinary second-year teachers in urban and rural public schools, was given to only four teachers around the state.

Varghese, who graduated from the University of Georgia in 2011, is a special education teacher at Harper-Archer Middle School in Atlanta Public Schools. She and the other award recipients will each get a $3,000 prize.

According to a news release from Teach for America, Varghese has led her students "to remarkable academic and personal growth. In her first year in the classroom, 100 percent of her students passed the Georgia Alternative Assessment -- an increase of 80 percentage points from the previous year.

"Sheena greets every day and every students, with a sense of possibility, said Ahmed Ahmed, Teach for America Manager of Teacher Leadership Development and Varghese's instructional coach. "Where many would lower the bar, Ms. Varghese raises it, then raises it again. She approaches her kids with a deep understanding of what they can do and a determination to do whatever it takes to empower them to realize their tremendous potential."

Created in honor of longtime Teach for America national board member Sue Lehmann, the annual award recognizes and celebrates "the finest in teaching."

For more information, visit www.teachforamerica.org.