EAST BEND — Donna Kraft, EC teacher at Forbush Elementary, has been named Yadkin County Schools Teacher of Excellence for this school year. This is Kraft’s 10th year at Forbush Elementary, and her 19th year in special education.
As a high school student, she knew without a shadow of a doubt that the field of special education was where her heart was. She always felt a strong desire to help children with challenges reach their potential. Toward that end, she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in special education from Mississippi State University, and then her Master Degree in special education.
Following graduation, she married her husband Patrick. They have three beautiful children, one of whom follows in her footsteps, working in education.
After having taught school in Mississippi for nine years, she moved to several states with her husband’s job before settling in North Carolina in 2004. She and Patrick love it here and are thrilled to have adopted North Carolina as their permanent home. Kraft’s special education experience is vast, and teaches resource classes at Forbush Elementary School.
When not working, her interests include her school’s Parent-Teacher Fellowship, church activities, working on stained glass or home improvement projects, and visiting with family and friends.
She noted that while the job of a special education teacher has changed a great deal since her early days in education, the students have not. “They still need us and have a hunger to learn”, she says. “It makes my heart glad to see the look on a child’s face when they work so hard to learn something new — and then they get it!”
Kristi Gaddis, director of Student Support Services for the Yadkin County Schools system, noted that “Mrs. Kraft is someone who is greatly respected by others due to her total dedication to her student and tireless work hours. We are very fortunate to have her here with us in Yadkin County Schools. Mrs. Kraft is a gem among gems. While we know just how special she is, the true winners are her students — those whom she’s taught in the past, those who sit in her classroom this year, and those who will call Mrs. Kraft their teacher in the years ahead.”
She will be recognized this November at the 65th annual Conference on Exceptional Children in Greensboro.