Bonnie Strickland has been teaching for a while now, but not always in a school classroom. She used to teach Bible classes at First Baptist Church in Bamberg. Then she felt a calling to come to the high school and teach special education.

“I was following God’s leading, and his direction,” Strickland says. ” Actually, my mother had a traumatic brain injury and my son has a learning disability. So it was kind of a natural shift.”

Mrs. Strickland also spent time performing as Sunshine the Clown. That experience has helped her in here.

“I think I always stayed back from kids that were scared of me, who were worried about trusting me. So I wanted to stand back, even in this position until I developed a trust and a relationship with the kids.”

Mrs. Strickland gets to be with her students for their entire high school career.

“On the path to graduation when you can see them improve in their reading and in their writing and in their math skills. It’s amazing.”

And after they leave high school, the possibilities are limitless.

“Some of them have gone on and graduated from college and are doing other things,” she says. ” One in particular is working toward his masters degree. Other students are successful in their work environment in the workplace.”

Success made possible by the hard work and dedication of Bonnie Strickland.

“I want to see them happy, well adjusted and contributing to the community.”