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Sequoyah Middle teacher Terella Thomas ‘Symetra Hero in the Classroom’

Sequoyah Middle School teacher Terella Thomas, second from right, was named a 2013-14 Symetra Hero in the Classroom. (Special Photo)

Sequoyah Middle School teacher Terella Thomas, second from right, was named a 2013-14 Symetra Hero in the Classroom. (Special Photo)

RIVERDALE — Sequoyah Middle School teacher Terella Thomas is a Symetra Hero in the Classroom.

She is one of 16 K–12 teachers in Georgia being honored for educational excellence in the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom Award program during the 2013 NFL season. The teachers receive a $1,000 donation for classroom books and supplies and tickets to a Falcons home game, where they are acknowledged in an on-field presentation at the Georgia Dome.

Thomas was honored by Symetra, SunTrust and the Atlanta Falcons this week, during a surprise school assembly. The eighth-grade math teacher was lauded by her colleagues as one of the best in the business, helping students achieve in- and out-side the classroom.

Assistant Principal Dr. Kimberly Dugger heaped praised on Thomas, whom she has grown to admire over the past few years.

“Ms. Thomas is one of the best teachers I’ve ever worked with,” said Dugger. “She is one of the motivators in our building. She is very hyper-high energy and loves what she does, and it is evident in the classroom. The students love her, too.”

Thomas was nominated for the award by Principal Lonnie White.

White described Thomas’s instructional skills as impeccable and her teaching style as outstanding.

“She reaches out to all stakeholders in a manner that exhibits her genuine and caring personality,” said White. “As a teacher, Ms. Thomas possesses the competence, commitment and sociability necessary to be a great instructor. She fosters a welcoming and collaborative environment inside of her classroom. She is an excellent teacher because she leads by example and cares deeply about the success and well-being of both students and staff.”

Thomas serves as Sequoyah’s math department chair, girls’ track team coach and leadership team member. She tutors struggling students in the mornings and on the weekends.

“If a fellow teacher needs assistance, she willingly gives of her planning time to help,” said White. “For all who come in contact with her, Ms. Thomas creates a desire to strive for excellence. Above all, she inspires students, which is what great teachers do. Ms. Thomas is one of the great ones, and Sequoyah Middle School is extremely fortunate to have her as a teacher-leader at our school.”