A Gwinnett County Public Schools teacher has received a state honor for her work in the classroom. Karen Vaught, a language arts and ESOL (English as a Second Language) teacher at GIVE Center West, has been named the 2019-20 Georgia Alternative Teacher of the Year by the Georgia Association of Alternative Education. The distinction is awarded to a teacher who is an exceptional, dedicated, knowledgeable, and skilled teacher; inspires students of all backgrounds and abilities to learn; and plays an active and useful role in the community as well as in the school.
Earning the award was humbling to Vaught. “I was quite honored to be named 2019-20 Georgia Alternative Teacher of the Year by the Georgia Association of Alternative Education,” she said. “As much as the award honors me, it also honors GIVE Center West. At GIVE, teachers are able to meet students where they are and teach them the academic, social, and personal skills they need to become our future leaders of tomorrow.”
Vaught, who has worked at GIVE Center West for five years, is known by her students to be caring, pragmatic, and encouraging. Her class is a safe environment where students feel comfortable and free to advocate for their education. Vaught is a vital part of GIVE West and helps to give students the opportunity to learn and succeed in a nontraditional setting.