LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Donna Burnett

Position: Physical Education Teacher; Homebound Teacher
School: Rossville Elementary School
School District: Walker Schools
City, State: Rossville, GA

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Donna Burnett was nominated by parent of a student, Amy Melton-Johnson.

Ms. Burnett has gone above and beyond for her students, and has helped Melton-Johnson's daughter, Madelyn, reach her educational goals in every way.

When Madelyn was 5 months old, she had her first allergic reaction to food. She is now 10 and is allergic to every meat except for turkey, as well as other main foods in each food group. She has an autoimmune disease that prohibited her from going to school for the first years of her education.

Ms. Burnett was assigned to Madelyn during her 1st grade home bound school year. She stayed with her until she became well enough to take a trial run at going to school in 3rd grade. Madelyn began 3rd grade while simultaneously participating in homebound. She worked every moment she could with Madelyn helping her to get to the level she needed to be.

Madelyn continued to get sick with pneumonia and would have set backs, but Ms. Burnett was patient and never gave up on her. Ms. Burnett would calm Madelyn down if she was struggling, but would never let her give up. She taught special ed during the day and would work with Madelyn after school at her home, even working with her during summer vacation.

Madelyn is now a thriving fourth grader who has adjusted well to everyday school. Ms. Burnett is now her school's physical education teacher, where she inspires students and staff to exercise on a regular basis. She even has everyone in the school participating in Plank-a-thon for Thanksgiving. Ms. Burnett loves her job and has changed the way her school teaches physical education.

"My family loves her, and we consider her a part of our family for all she has done for Madelyn," Melton-Johnson said. "She made transitioning from homebound schooling to elementary school seem not so scary. My daughter wouldn’t have adjusted so well if it had not been for such an amazing teacher, Ms. Donna Burnett!"