LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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David Collins

Position: Botanical Sciences Teacher
School: Fernbank Science Center
School District: DeKalb County School District
City, State: Atlanta, GA

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David Collins was nominated by his colleague, Douglas Hrabe. 

Dr. Collins has been a great staff member at the Science Center.  He is an instructor in the Vocational Horticulture Program for Special Needs students and works very diligently for the students in his course.  He becomes more than a teacher for his students.

Dr. Collins was recently selected as the Teacher of the Year for the DeKalb County School District.  As part of the selection process, a student was asked to create a video regarding Dr. Collins. The video was very touching and really pointed out all of the extra efforts that Dr. Collins goes to in supporting his students.  The young student talked about how caring Dr. Collins was, and how his efforts reached well beyond the classroom. The student felt that Dr, Collins had a great affect upon her life.  She now felt that she could gain employment and had a plan for having a successful career. After the selection for the school district, Dr. Collins was also selected as one of the ten finalists for the Teacher of the Year for Georgia. 

Dr. Collins is also a leader in his building.  He has been more than willing to assist staff members of the Center with just about any need they might have. He is very knowledgeable and helps to guide the Center through his Teacher/Leader role.  His influence goes well beyond the Center, as well.  Dr. Collins is an instructor in the School Master Gardener program. Through this program, he helps to educate and excite teachers on the proper use of outdoor spaces as learning centers.  Many of the schools in the District utilize their gardens as part of their STEM initiatives.  Without Mr. Collins' work, many of the schools would still be struggling with this learning environment. 

"David is truly committed to working with his students," said Hrabe. "He is an excellent role model for the staff of the Center and for teachers throughout the District.  He has played a tremendous part in changing the lives of the students in his programs."