Dunn, an East Baton Rouge Parish School System teacher, was one of the top five teachers chosen nationwide to be profiled during "Top Teacher Week” which aired May 14-18 on Live! with Kelly.
A television crew descended upon Northeast to film Dunn at school for the segment which featured her on May 16. The show also flew her to New York for a live interview and aired the videotaped footage the crew shot of her at school. The educator was chosen as a 2012 Top Teacher from a group of finalists who were announced May 21. The winner had the chance to receive a 2013 Ford Fusion, and $25,000 went to the winning teacher's school.
In April, viewers and the public voted electronically for teachers nominated nationwide in a salute to “mentors who guide their students to success every day.”
Criteria for the top teacher search involved teachers who make a difference in and out of the classroom, who make their students’ lives and the school a better place and who go above and beyond in their community and school. Teachers who were eligible could be from public or private schools and could teach pre-kindergarten through the 12th-grade. Teachers garnering the most votes became semi-finalists and then finalists.
Dunn, the youngest daughter of Roosevelt and Mattie Dunn, holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Vocational Education and a Master’s of Education in Administration and Supervision from Southern University A&M College. She has been a Business teacher for 13 years and is also the chairperson of Northeast High School's Elective Department and the high school’s Dancin' Divas sponsor, as well as the internship coordinator, after school clinic moderator and adult computer teacher.
Dunn is a member of the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. of Southern University A&M College.
In a letter nominating Dunn and which was posted at http://dadt.com/live/contest/topteachersearch/12/vote/, former student Anna Renne Davis, wrote:
“Thanks to Ms. Dunn, I made it through my high school career. Being such a challenging student is how I met Miss Dunn…through behavioral clinic in high school, and right off the bat, she knew my kind and knew just how to deal with me.
"When I needed advice, she would get me to let my mind open up first and then think. She’d give me her feedback, and she made me feel special. Even when I went into my senior year and my mother had a brain aneurysm, she was there for me. Although my high school years are over, Ms. Dunn helped shaped me to become the proud, disciplined LSU student I am today.”
A coworker and classroom neighbor, Jessica Lazarus, had this to say about Dunn:
"She is such a dynamic teacher in business and career courses, and she makes such invaluable contributions to students’ lives…Monica is inspirational in the way she deals with our young people, many of whom have difficult lives. She gives them guidance and mentorship and she teaches them social, behavioral and occupational skills. Her behavior serves as a model to other staff for understanding and relating to our kids.”
Dunn said when she realized she was chosen as one of the five finalists, she couldn't believe it. "I was overwhelmed and totally speechless."
"Appearing on the (Live! with Kelly) show was an incredible experience, a once in a lifetime moment," said Dunn. "Teaching is a wonderful profession. Not only do I teach my students lifelong skills, but I also encourage them to treat people how they wish to be treated, respect themselves and to demand respect from others."
Dunn thanks God, her family, NHS, its faculty and administrators, all her former students and especially Gail Spight, for nominating her for such a "memorable and prestigious award."
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