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By WSB-TV Community

ATLANTA – Ten teachers from the Greater Atlanta area are being recognized for their commitment to the classroom.

 The nonprofit Atlanta Families’ Awards for Excellence in Education (AFAEE) paid a surprise visit to each award recipient at their school with a $7,500 check. Teachers were chosen based on their proposals to create innovative projects for their students. AFAEE award recipient Alicia McHardy, of Norcross High School, says it was humbling to see the community come together to support her work.
“I decided to be a teacher because I had some amazing teachers in my childhood,” McHardy said. “I know how much of a difference they made in my life, so I wanted to go forward and make that same kind of difference in other kid’s lives.”
Beecher Hills Elementary School 5th grade teacher, Brittny Washington, has been teaching for 14 years. She plans to start a compost project for her students. She says this hands-on project will help her students understand the importance of recycling.

“Most of the project, I’m having the 5th graders do,” Washington said. “They’re going to be the ones collecting the recycling, they’re going to be the ones in the garden.”

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The Atlanta Families’ Awards for Excellence in Education has recognized 138 educators since 2006. The award recipients use $3,500 for their project, $1,500 for professional development and $2,500 as a personal stipend.