SMYRNA – With tears in her eyes as she accepted a bouquet of flowers, Smyrna Elementary School teacher Lisa Rogers was honored this week as one of the top educators in the state.

Rogers, a teacher in the Cobb School District's Target program for gifted students, was named Gifted Program Teacher of the Year by the Georgia Association of Gifted Children. Her fellow teachers—and the entire student body of Smyrna Elementary School—emptied into the school’s parking lot to cheer her on.

Also in attendance were Smyrna Councilman Travis Lindley and City Administrator Joe Bennett, who commended Rogers—a teacher in Cobb schools for 20 years—for her exceptional work for the district. 

“A few words came to mind about Ms. Rogers and her experience as a teacher,” Bennett said. “The words engaging, passionate. I heard she allows students to discover, to experiment, and places a huge emphasis on building the student's knowledge and self-esteem.

“She’s a leader to the children, she’s a leader in her community, and she’s a leader to her family.”

Rogers received nothing short of the royal treatment during the ceremony. Escorted down a red carpet beneath an arch of balloons, she was seated atop a bright red Jaguar convertible and driven around the school’s parking lot as “Walking on Sunshine” played.

“It’s unbelievable,” Rogers said after the parade and an impromptu dance party with her students. “And anybody that knows me knows that I pour my heart and soul into my students. I truly love and care about them. They matter to me. Though they may be little, they're seen, they're heard, and what they have to say is important.

“It's nothing that I have to work at, because I feel like it's what I was gifted with. And so we have great students here at Smyrna Elementary and it makes my job easy.”

Sharon Arduino, principal of the school, said she was thrilled to have Rogers on her staff.

“She's an amazing asset to the school. I mean, she truly has a heart for our kids. If you enter her room, she is so creative and the kids are so engaged … She also is a leader at our school, leading other staff members through trainings, (and) a leader at the district level as well.”

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