School: Gentry High School
School District: Sunflower County Consolidated School District
City, State: Indianola, Mississippi
About the Nominee: Anji Reddy Nalamalapu has been working as a special education teacher since 2012. He is currently taking a leadership role as an interim SPED Dept. chair and Positive Behavior Intervention Services (PBIS) chair. Mr. Reddy is an outstanding educator with the following characteristics:
Bringing community to the classrooms: Mr. Nalamalapu completed a grant project that enabled Gentry High School to purchase three M148-E USB2.0 digital camera microscopes which allow students to view pictures on their computers during group activities. The grant also includes M30-ABS-KT2_WM microscopes, which are useful for student’s independent assignments. To bring the community into the classroom, he also partnered with a local bank.
Computer donation to students: With the help of a local university professor, Mr. Nalamalapu donated fully loaded desktop computers to his students to complete homework assignments.
Student technology: As a result of the community bank partnership, Mr. Nalamalapu distributed TI-84 calculators that students can use to pass the state exams and complete homework assignments.
"Science in Fisheries and Aquaculture" seminar: As a part of transition and career development training, Mr. Nalamalapu invited a research geneticist to his school. The researcher presented a paper on science in fisheries and aquaculture. In the information seminar, the researcher emphasized the importance of science and math in real life. They also discussed the four important processes in scientific methods and available careers in the Delta area for students who want to pursue a career in science and aquaculture. Students actively participated in the seminar.
Student Test Scores: Due to innovative inclusion teaching strategies, students with special needs passed the state-standardized SATP2 exams in Biology and US History subjects.
Donations: To promote students success, Mr. Nalamalapu announced a $150 monetary prize as reinforcement for students to pass the Biology-I state exam. After the test results came in, he donated the money to the parents. He also made donations to the Council for Exceptional Children's “Yes I Can Award” to recognize special needs students who have exceptional skills.
Presentations: He presented a paper on innovative inclusion teaching strategies at a state conference and received Mississippi CEC's State Teacher of the Year award for 2016. His article on Basic Special Education Processes under IDEA will be presented at a national conference. He also presented a paper on Teaching Social Studies (Economics/ Financial Literacy) at the Mississippi Council for Social Studies State Annual Conference on October 21st, 2016.
Publications: He has made publications such as transition assessment forms available on the National Association of Special Education Teachers website.
Due his achievements as an educator, Mr. Nalamalapu is a LifeChanger in his community.