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College Park teacher a hero in the classroom
by staff
December 23, 2013 03:32 PM | 1242 views | 0 0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Bellevue, Wash.-based Symetra Financial, SunTrust Bank and the Atlanta Falcons recently honored Main Street Academy music teacher Jerry Chapman as a Symetra Hero in the Classroom during a surprise classroom presentation.

Teachers may be nominated by their principal, district staff, student or student’s parent.

Assistant Principal Cheryl Parker nominated Chapman for the award.

The winners are selected based on their ability to make a real difference in students’ lives; to go above and beyond in their day-to-day responsibilities; and to help students build life skills.

“Jerry Chapman has worked hard to give Main Street Academy students an opportunity to experience music in various ways. Last year, in the midst of limited facilities and demanding schedules, he started a middle school beginning band with 15 students. Under his direction, these students performed extremely well during our spring concert,” Parker said.

“Mr. Chapman now has an enrollment of 116 students in the band and chorus programs. He not only offers band and chorus for grades four to eight, but he also teaches general music to our kindergartners and middle-schoolers. This is the first year [the academy] has had such an extensive music program, and it’s proving to be an exciting adventure for many students. It has truly been rewarding to see the students’ enthusiasm for these programs — to see them coming to school with their instruments for the first time, going on field trips and being exposed to opportunities they may never have experienced anywhere else.

Parker said Chapman offers many opportunities for student leadership, encouraging students to be more responsible and take charge of their own learning.

“He sets high expectations, and students continue to rise to the challenge,” she said.

“It is refreshing and encouraging to see band and chorus students achieve both in and out of the classroom, particularly those who may not always exemplify responsibility in other areas of learning. Their ambition for learning through music underscores that music in the schools is not only a wonderful opportunity, but often a needed outlet.”

Chapman is one of 16 K–12 teachers in Georgia who will be honored during the 2013 NFL season for educational excellence through the award program, now in its fourth year in the Atlanta area.

Teachers are recognized in front of their students and peers at surprise in-school presentations, and they receive a $1,000 donation for classroom books and supplies.

In addition, they receive tickets to a Falcons home game and are acknowledged during an on-field presentation at the Georgia Dome.

Chapman was recognized at the Nov. 10 game against the Seattle Seahawks.

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