A dedicated teacher was spotlighted by the Hattiesburg [MS] American (9-28) for earning the U.S. Department of Education's American Star of Teaching award:
"A Rowan Elementary School teacher was surprised today with a national education award for her belief that every student can learn.
"Principal Melvia Fountain nominated fourth grade teacher Penny Barnes for the No Child Left Behind 2005 American Star of Teaching award for her commitment to students who score low on proficiency tests.
"The award was presented by Assistant Secretary of Education Henry Johnson, formerly the state superintendent of Mississippi, during an assembly in the school auditorium.
"'You know, there's one thing besides yourself that makes the most difference in how you will do - and that's your teacher,' Johnson said to Rowan students before announcing the award for a surprised Barnes.
"Barnes, who just began her fifth year of teaching, describes herself as a disciplinarian with a passion for helping slow learners and students with behavioral problems.
"'I like to see the end result in the most challenging students,' Barnes said. 'I like to see the results once it sinks in.'"
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