Jeff Ewanowski says teaching is the “family business.” He and his sister recently validated that when both were honored by Georgia’s Own Credit Union for their work in the field.

The Gwinnett County Public Schools teachers literally had their names up in lights were each featured on the credit union’s electronic billboard in downtown Atlanta.

Ali Burrous of Starling Elementary School and Ewanowski of Trickum Middle School were among a select group of seven teachers selected to appear in the credit union’s 2021 Teacher Appreciation Campaign. They were selected from a social media campaign in which community members were asked to use the hashtag #GeorgiasOwnTeacher to nominate a teacher. In their posts on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter, nominators explained why they love their teacher.

The honorees were selected based on those submissions. Burrous and Ewanowski were both featured on the billboard for 24 hours and both received a $200 donation to their classrooms.

Burrous, who is Starling’s Local School Technology Coordinator, said she appreciated the recognition.

“I am so thankful,” Burrous said. “I am a product of GCPS, attending kindergarten through 12th grade. My favorite part of my job is that I learn something new almost every day. I never know what type of issue I’ll be asked to help resolve, so it keeps my days very interesting and engaging.

“I am honored to work with amazing educators and learn alongside them as we create valuable experiences for students.”

Ewanowski, who is a sixth-grade science teacher, agreed that this was a humbling experience.

“It is quite amazing to me that my sister and I both received this award,” he said. “I would definitely say teaching is a ‘family business.’ My mother taught in Gwinnett County for many years before moving on to the district office to finish her career.

“I love teaching because it affords me the opportunity to pass along everything I have learned to a different group of students each year. I love seeing the ‘ah-ha’ moment when a student truly understands whatever it is we are talking about and I enjoy trying to find different ways to ensure that all my students succeed.”

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