Buford named Jefferson County School District Department of Special Services 2021-2022 Teacher of the Year

Published 4:54 pm Monday, December 13, 2021

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JEFFERSON COUNTY — The Jefferson County School District on Monday announced that Carla Buford is the Jefferson County School District Department of Special Services 2021-2022 Teacher of the Year.

Buford graduated from Homewood-Flossmoor High School in 1987 and Grand Canyon University in 2012 with a master’s degree in Special Education.  She holds a teaching certification in Mild/Moderate Disabilities (K-12).

Buford has been employed with Jefferson County School District as a Special Educator since August 2014.  Before relocating to Mississippi, she served as a permanent teacher sub and teaching assistant at ECHO (Exceptional Children Have Opportunities) Joint Agreement in South Holland, Illinois, for eight years.  For the last six years, Buford has served as a community volunteer with Red Cross Disaster Relief and the Stampley Volunteer Fire Department.

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Buford has been married to her soulmate, Richard Buford, for thirteen years.

Her approach to teaching is that her students are similar to puzzles; the more you connect the pieces, the more you see the whole picture.  She believes that being in Special Education is not because a student can’t learn, but because they learn differently.  As the educator, she starts fitting the puzzle together so learning happens, Buford said.

“Mrs. Buford has been a pillar in the Department of Special Services since I have been in the district and a guiding figure with her students as well as her peers,” said special services director Dr. Cratrell Hammitte. “She has a unique ability when it comes to building capacity of her coworkers but more importantly,  that vital ability to elevate her students in all areas in the academic setting.  Her professionalism and work ethic should be the model for all teachers, and I am proud to have her as my nominee.”