Dalton Public Schools News

Park Creek Teacher Returns to Former Classroom to Teach
Lili Headshot

Lili Deharo, a second grade teacher at Park Creek School, is inspiring students in the same classroom where she was taught nearly 20 years ago.

“Teaching second grade here is special because I was in this classroom,” Deharo said. “I got lucky. Now, I get to teach in the same room I learned in. It’s amazing walking these halls again.”

Deharo’s family moved around a lot before settling in Dalton. In total, she has lived in California, Mexico, Tennessee and Georgia. 

After graduating from Dalton High, Deharo attended Dalton State College before receiving her Masters degree from Georgia Southern University.

“I just like making my parents proud,” Deharo said. “They came to this country hoping for the best, and I feel like I accomplished that.”

Deharo also works after school at Kid City, an after-school program funded by the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Grant. She said it's a great opportunity for students to receive extra academic support.

“It’s an amazing program that I wish had existed when I was growing up,” Deharo said. “Maybe I could have learned even more or learned more of the language and interacted with more English speakers.”

As an English Language Learner (ELL) student, Deharo received additional support from teachers in and out of the classroom. She fondly remembers the dedicated educators who pushed her to work on her reading and writing.

“I moved around a lot, so I had a lot of inspiration, especially here at Park Creek,” Deharo said. “I was an ELL student, so I feel like my teachers here at Park Creek helped me a lot. They always pushed me.”

Deharo said she loves teaching because she has experienced firsthand the impact an enthusiastic educator can make on a student’s life.

“Now, here I am in this classroom where that teacher pushed me,” Deharo said. “I honestly did not think I would graduate high school. I wanted to be a teacher so that I could motivate kids.”

Deharo hopes her students will remember her as someone who encouraged them to achieve at their highest potential. Specifically, Deharo believes her connection to her ELL students is helping them recognize the importance of education and perseverance.

“Every day is something new,” Deharo said. “I like coming and listening to the kids’ stories. There’s never a dull moment. My favorite part is impacting their lives. They need a person who is going to motivate them and be their support.”

Deharo’s class often discusses their goals. Each student is encouraged to identify their goals and pursue them daily.

“I love knowing that I’m making a difference and, because of that, they are going to make a difference in this world,” Deharo said. “They are really becoming lifelong learners. We’re preparing them to be college and career ready. We’re really a good district to be in.”