Pike Road Intermediate School teacher focuses on inclusion

Published: May. 30, 2022 at 7:04 PM CDT
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PIKE ROAD, Ala. (WSFA) – Keren McElvy’s son, Jack, doesn’t always love school. But she said that all changed when he met Jennifer Harris, a fourth grade teacher at Pike Road Intermediate School.

“My son, Jack, is autistic and has Down syndrome,” McElvy said, “She’s taught Jack not only how to interact with his peers, but also his peers how to interact with him.”

So to thank Harris, Jack’s mom nominated her for the WSFA 12 News Class Act award. It was an emotional surprise, even for the teacher who’s been at it for 20 years. We gave Harris a gift and a note from McElvy. The teacher said that Jack and others have inspired her to continue her education.

“As I am working on my special education degree right now, I’ll be finished in about a year, That sweet note did confirm that I’m doing what I love, but I’m also doing what’s right for me,” she said.

For Harris, doing what she loves means encouraging and motivating students, co-workers and aspiring teachers.

“I feel like her classroom is a beautiful picture of inclusion and students working together to enjoy meaningful relationships that recognize everyone’s value,” McElvy said.

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