Walton County Schools Braillist earns ‘Positive Partnership’ nomination

By Christy Breedlove

“Angela Smith is so much more than an extraordinary educator.  She is a mentor, friend, advocate and most importantly, an extended member of my family,” says Christy Connelly, sixth-grade social studies and science teacher.

Angela Smith, Braillist with Walton County School System. Contributed photo.

In addition to all those titles, Smith can add a “positive partnership nomination” from the Northeast Georgia RESA (Regional Educational Service Agency) to her name. In partnering with three RESA teachers of the visually impaired, Smith has become the go-to for the area.

She works hard in preparing lesson plans for her visually impaired students so they learn at the same pace as general education children.  Not only does she help all of Walton County, but she has also helped a number of area schools with diagrams, ideas and small braille books while on her own time. Smith has been invited to speak at conferences to display her creations.

Connelly’s daughter, Samantha, has a rare condition that causes complete blindness. When Samantha was a student at Walker Park Elementary, Smith became her advocate. 

“Ms. Smith uses various logical methods to help accommodate visually impaired learners where it is in a verbal/auditory, Braille, large-print or tactile format.  That is where Ms. Smith’s knowledge comes in. Her expertise at providing alternatives to access the information for these students is monumental toward their learning growth!  She has a true gift for collaboratively working with all educators,” Connelly said.

Three separate TVI’s (teachers of the visually impaired) nominated Smith for this honor. The nomination form praises Smith and her willingness to go above and beyond her job title. “Ms. Smith is very patient, caring and a VERY HARD worker.  She is a perfectionist by making sure every piece of work that is sent out is correct” reads the form.

Connelly agrees with the nomination, “The Walton County School District has been so very fortunate to have her and her specialized contributions as a member of our teaching staff for many years, and she is a wonderful example of #WhyWalton!”

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