Kiandra Torry, a teacher at Northside Elementary School, was nominated as the CHCCS Exceptional Children Educator of Excellence on Wednesday, Oct. 5.
A teacher for 11 years, Torry said she has been a teacher at Northside since 2015.
She knew she wanted to teach students with disabilities from a young age. In high school, she said she liked to visit the classrooms for these students during her lunch period.
“I’ve always had a passion for (helping) children with special needs,” she added.
In the North Carolina public school system, the Exceptional Children program teaches students with disabilities.
Northside Elementary School's Principal Coretta Sharpless said the program is designed to allow students with disabilities to access the same curriculum the rest of the students have. She said students may have individually designed instruction, an alternate timeline or additional resources to help them succeed.
At Northside, Torry is one of four EC teachers and works with eight students regularly. The students range from kindergarten to fifth grade, and she teaches them math, reading, writing and social skills.
Torry said some of the EC teachers at the school go into the general education classrooms and co-teach to provide extra support for students. CHCCS's EC program prioritizes allowing students to spend time with their peers.
Rather than Torry going into general classrooms to assist, the students she works with come to her classroom for a few hours each day.