Last Updated on March 10, 2004 by Paulette Brown-Hinds


Connie White is a parent whose child requires a teacher with a big heart and special teaching skills. Her child is a special needs student – who is not easy to handle and often frustrating to teach.

White’s son attends the severely handicapped class at Victory Elementary and according to her “I can honestly say that it is solely because of Mrs. Tuesdale-Barns that my son has come as far as he has. At other institutions, several different specialists told me that my son was un-teachable due to his attitude and frequent outbursts of anger and aggression. These other institutions would typically place my son in the back of the classroom and forget about him. Needless to say, my son was miserable and hated going to school.”

White feels truly blessed to have had the good fortune of Mrs. Tuesdale-Barns as the elementary teacher for the severely handicapped class. She doesn’t know how Tuesdale-Barns does it as her class size is from 12-20 students, with each student having their individual disability and behavioral issues.

What White does know is that through the efforts of Tuesdale-Barns, “my son has made tremendous progress, and for the first time I have hope that he will be able to read and master math skills. Mrs. Tuesdale-Barns is patient, kind and gives every child the necessary special attention they need to draw out how to best motivate and stimulate each child’s learning abilities.”

In today’s school environment, often teaching regular students is challenging, so one can only imagine the additional challenges to those teachers of special education. White says that “Working with my son can be frustrating, he doesn’t make things easy but Mrs. Tuesdale-Barns doesn’t allow him to get away with things and never gives up on him. She pushes my son to reach and learn past his disabilities.

I see my son swell with pride when he can count or read a word or two. My son has greater self-esteem, and self-confidence, now, which has helped him mature and control anger outburst. My son has a whole new attitude towards school and himself – and I have Mrs. Tuesdale-Barns to thank.”

“Due to Mrs. Tuesdale-Barns tireless and unbinding dedication to special children, she has made an impact into their lives for the better. She has the ability to touch and figure out how to bring children with disabilities to learn” says Connie. And that’s why she’s being nominated.