Theresa Dougherty, a 15-year veteran teacher at Roland Rogers Elementary School in Galloway Township, has been named Atlantic County Teacher of the Year through the Atlantic County Office of Education.

“I was shocked. It’s such a long process and it ended up being a 14-page application to the county. The good thing about that is that it really gave me the opportunity to reflect on my teaching practices,” Dougherty said of winning the title.

Dougherty, a third-grade teacher, has dedicated herself to building a sense of family and community in her classroom and school, said Galloway Township Schools Superintendent Annette Giaquinto.

“Using exceptional instructional skills, Terry helps all her students learn and achieve in a safe, nurturing environment. Mrs. Dougherty is a teacher-leader, serving as a mentor, moderator and motivator, seeking to turn adversity into possibilities,” Giaquinto said.

Last year, Dougherty won $10,000 from the Great American Teach-off for her volunteer work for tutoring children of military families.

The process leading up to Dougherty receiving the news this week that she had won the county title was lengthy. First, Dougherty was nominated at the school level by her peers and was chosen as the Roland Rogers Teacher of the Year. After that, she was chosen as the district’s Teacher of the Year from instructors in five of the district’s schools. The Atlantic County Office Education then named Dougherty Atlantic County Teacher of the Year.

Dougherty said her success is a team effort and the teachers at Roland Rogers School work closely together every day.

“I always feel that teachers teach teachers. I am always there to help my colleagues and they’re always there to help me. I have always gone by the district’s motto that children and their achievements is what come first,” she said.

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