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Riverside Elementary Teacher Wins State's Top Award for Working with Gifted Kids

Marion Sebastian received the prestigious Margaret Bynum Award.

Veteran educator Marion Sebastian works with Riverside Elementary students on Thursday, May 8. GCPS photo
Veteran educator Marion Sebastian works with Riverside Elementary students on Thursday, May 8. GCPS photo

From Gwinnett County Public Schools

A veteran Gwinnett County educator, who received a number of accolades during her career with Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS), continues to be recognized even into retirement.

Marion Sebastian, who is retired but still serves Riverside Elementary students part-time, was presented with the state’s most prestigious recognition for educators who work with gifted children.

The Georgia Association for Gifted Children (GAGC) honored Ms.Sebastian with the Margaret Bynum Award, which is presented to an organization or individual for an outstanding contribution to gifted education in Georgia. The award is named after Margaret Bynum, who was the first state consultant in gifted education (1958) and for the Governor’s Honors Program (1964).

Marion Sebastian began her three-decade career with GCPS in 1977 as a 5th grade teacher at Peachtree Elementary. She came to Gwinnett after serving students in Arkansas and DeKalb County. During her early years at Peachtree Elementary, she made an impact on her students and also on her colleagues, earning the title Teacher of the Year very early on in her career.

That would be an honor she would receive nine more times at three Gwinnett schools—Peachtree Elementary, Berkeley Lake Elementary, and Riverside Elementary where she transferred in 1999. Ms. Sebastian retired from GCPS in 2005 but continues to serve Riverside Elementary children as a part-time gifted education teacher.

In addition to being named local school Teacher of the Year 10 times, Ms. Sebastian also has been recognized on numerous occasions by several organizations. She was awarded the Hughes Award for outstanding service to the Gwinnett Alliance for Gifted Education (GAGE), and has been honored as the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) Educator of the Year and the Georgia Elementary Science Teacher of the Year.

Ms. Sebastian’s accolades are a result of the passion and dedication she has demonstrated to Gwinnett children throughout her many years of service. During her career, she served as the president of the Georgia and Gwinnett organizations that support gifted education.

She also was president of the board for the Future Problem Solving Program, an academic competition serving thousands of students in Georgia. She served as an evaluator of student competitions at the state and international levels and participated as a member of a Gifted Education Delegation to Russia.

Marion Sebastian earned a specialist’s degree, a master’s degree in education from Georgia State University, and holds a bachelor’s degree also in education from Henderson University.

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