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Jakera Dawson: Played teacher as a child

AMERICUS — Like Lauren Shemwell, Teacher of The Year at Sumter Elementary School, Jakera Dawson knew early on that she wanted to be an educator.
“When I was six, I would find myself lining up my dolls in my bedroom and pretend to be their teacher,” said the Teacher of the Year at Sumter County Early Learning Center.
An experience with bullying in middle school strengthened Dawson’s resolve to oversee the lives of children.
“I knew then that I wanted to make a difference and would never allow or tolerate anyone being mistreated or bullied,” said Dawson.
Since taking up the cause she was destined for, she is determined to do whatever it takes to have her students reach their potential.
“The children are our future,” said Dawson.
“When obstacles come and times get tough, I quote Linda Cliatt-Wayman: ‘So what, now what?’ There is always a solution if you think a little harder and look a little closer.”
For Dawson, it all comes down to commitment to teaching and to learning:
“The teachers should teach like they mean it,” she said. “The students should learn like they want it, and in the end we all must strive to be the best we can be.”