05/13/07 — Business honors Edgewood teacher

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Business honors Edgewood teacher

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on May 13, 2007 2:00 AM

Donna Countryman, a teacher at Edgewood Community Developmental School, has been named the 2007 Sam's Club Teacher of the Year.

Representatives from the local store surprised Mrs. Countryman with the award, presenting her with a check for $1,000 for her classroom and a $100 gift card for herself.

Earlier in the school year, a box had been set up in the store for parents, students and community members to nominate a local teacher for the honor. Store officials said about 200 nominations were received, with Mrs. Countryman's coming from the parent of one of her former students.

David Comer credited Mrs. Countryman with the work she did with his son Chad, until his passing in 2004.

"Donna, along with parents and other contributors established a fund to build a sensory garden in Chad's memory. Today the garden is used for others to enjoy and learn, and also to keep Chad's legacy alive," he said.

Mrs. Countryman, who works with mentally handicapped children from kindergarten up to 21 years old, said she was surprised by the acknowledgment.

"This award is so touching. I was very close to the Comer family. Chad was a very special student. When he passed away the entire school was impact, and it was especially difficult for my class," she said.

She said she was humbled by the honor because, like any teacher faced with a difficult situation, she was just doing her job.

"It means a lot that Chad's parents would take the time to fill out a card and help me earn such a prestigious award," she said.

Mrs. Countryman is now eligible to compete against other Sam's Club winners from across the state for the Sam's Club "North Carolina Teacher of the Year" award and possibly the national title.