Central Elementary School special education teacher uses personal experience to inspire others

Published: Nov. 21, 2022 at 2:01 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 21, 2022 at 6:28 PM CST
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LOWNDES COUNTY, Ala. (WSFA) – Jacqulin Allen is a mother of four and the daughter of a long-time educator. She said her many life experiences are what led her to education, specifically special education.

“I have a baby at home who was diagnosed with autism. So, special education is near and dear to my heart,” Allen said, “And my mother. She’s my biggest inspiration. She taught for 36 years. She showed me what it means to be a teacher at home and a teacher in the classroom.”

Allen is a “self-contained kindergarten through 5th grade” special education teacher at Central Elementary School in Lowndes County. She’s the only teacher like this in the entire county.

“Self-contained means that my students stay with me until they transition to middle school. This classroom is for students who are on the lower cognitive end. I have a multitude of disabilities here in the room. Anywhere from autism to MS to intellectual disability. It’s just an array of children that are here and I just love it,” Allen said. “I like to teach them that it doesn’t matter what your disability is. It matters about your ability, not your disability.”

For six years now, she’s been instilling that into her children. With songs, art, and more, she thrives to inspire them to be their best every single day. She believes she was “called” to be a special education teacher and she shed a few tears when she received the WSFA 12 News Class Act Award.

“I just love it. I just love being around kids and being a person that’s impactful. It’s my ministry, it’s what I was meant to do,” Allen said.

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