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Upward Exceptional Children teacher honored

Director of Exceptional Children Jennifer Shelton and Upward Elementary School principal Michael Gates pose with EC teacher Jennifer Langdon. Director of Exceptional Children Jennifer Shelton and Upward Elementary School principal Michael Gates pose with EC teacher Jennifer Langdon.

Jennifer Langdon, an Exceptional Children teacher at Upward Elementary School, has been named the district representative for North Carolina’s Exceptional Children’s Educator of Excellence. She will represent Henderson County Public Schools at the statewide annual conference next month in Greensboro.

“Ms. Langdon does a great job building relationships and always does what is best for her students,” said Jennifer Shelton, the school system's director of Exceptional Children programs. “We are thrilled she is part of the EC staff in Henderson County.”

With 12 years of dedicated service to HCPS, Langdon began her journey as an American Sign Language interpreter before transitioning into her current role as an EC Resource Teacher for the past five years. 

“I’ve witnessed firsthand the efforts that Ms. Langdon puts into making her students, parents, and colleagues lives better. Through her willingness to volunteer or just her steadfast commitment to her responsibilities, she has become an employee who is incredibly important to our school community,” Upward Elementary principal Michael Gates said. “Ms. Langdon has plenty to do as an EC teacher, but she chooses to be an influence outside her classroom to improve our school community.”

In her role as an EC teacher, Langdon teaches specifically designed instruction in reading, math, writing and social skills to 33 K-5 students. Throughout the year, her caseload increases as students are referred through the MTSS process and evaluated for EC services. 

“My greatest contribution and accomplishments in education are providing a safe environment for my students and colleagues where they feel respected as an individual, valued, and loved,” Langdon said. “I have found that by treating students with respect, they are more willing to work with me. Kindness goes a long way when it comes to teaching.”

Langdon explained what a day in her classroom may look like.

“My classroom is a revolving door from 8:10 a.m. to 3 p.m.," she said. "My No. 1 goal each day is to make sure the students in my classroom feel loved. If they are walking out of my room with a smile on their face and love in their hearts, then I know I’m doing what’s best for kids.”  

In addition to teaching in her classroom, Langdon also leads the Sunshine Committee and actively participates in the School Improvement Team at Upward. Her commitment and passion have not gone unnoticed, as she was nominated by her peers and honored as Upward’s Teacher of the Year for 2022-23.

“Ms. Langdon is an outstanding choice and a most well deserving recipient of this honor," Superintendent Mark R. Garrett said. "Every time I am at Upward Elementary, I see her engaged with students and always with a smile on her face. It is evident that students respect and adore Ms. Langdon."