Spotlight on Lamar Teacher, Christine Newell
Christine Newell has been a part of the community of Greenville since childhood. As a special education teacher at Lamar Elementary School, Newell has the opportunity to give back to the community that raised her. After three years of teaching in the Greenville ISD, Newell has some special insights about her job and the lives that she molds each and every day.
“My favorite part about what I do is that I can see myself learning and growing and evolving as an educator and as a person along with my students,” says Newell. Newell has worked as an elementary special education instructor for the past three years at Lamar Elementary. “I decided to work for GISD because I believe in this district. I am a product of GISD and I think it is really special to be able to work with some of the same teachers that I had growing up,” says Newell. “I actually attended Lamar and feel incredibly proud and blessed to be a part of the staff there and hope to be for many years to come.”
Teachers have the unique opportunity to aid their students in unlocking their full academic potential while also helping them discover their true character and capabilities. Such an undertaking has an undeniable element of reward. “Being able to see significant progress in students that belong to a historically underestimated, and sadly sometimes undereducated, demographic of people is incredibly motivating to me,” she says. “Seeing others' perceptions of my students change after fighting to break down barriers in order to make sure that they are accepted, included, and afforded the same opportunities as their general education peers” is what Newell finds most rewarding in her profession.
In 2012, The Greenville Educational Enrichment Foundation fulfilled a grant request from Lamar Elementary to install playground equipment designed for use by the special education students. Newell says that she considers that “one of the highlights of my career and something I am proud to have been a part of.”