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Top Teacher: Debra Phillips

Published: Mar. 30, 2022 at 2:48 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 30, 2022 at 6:57 PM EDT
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BULLOCH COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - Special needs students need a special kind of teacher, who can give them the support and sometimes space they need to succeed. Meet Debra Phillips from Southeast Bulloch Middle School.

“When I first started teaching, I wanted to be in middle school, and when I got with special needs - popped itself in there - and I love it, love working with these guys,” Debra Phillips said.

Phillips teaches special education, working with students with emotional behaviors at Southeast Bulloch Middle School.

“Those kids have a special need, and it’s just, you just get to bond with them and make a difference,” she said.

Phillips grew up in Bulloch County and has been teaching for 33 years.

“After 33 years, you wouldn’t think you would get emotional about these kids, we have really rough days sometimes, but they find that special place in your heart, and you just want to help them get to where they can succeed in life. They can be the people who take care of us,” Phillips said.

“They have different emotions they have other problems, and she gets them to open up to her. She knows how to bond with them,” paraprofessional Melissa Mercer said.

“When you think about Miss, Phillips you think about dedication. She is not only dedicated to her kids in the classroom but also dedicated to this school,” Southeast Bulloch principal Brad Boykin said.

“I tell them, that I care about them lots. My biggest concern is that they are successful in life. and that’s what I want for them to be, be able to be independent and successful,” Phillips said.

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