Southfield (CW50) – We have an episode full of surprises this week on Community Connect, as we shock educators from around Metro Detroit with testimonial videos about their character and how they go above and beyond the walls of the classroom directly from their students and colleagues.

This is the first time we’ve ever attempted a stunt like this on our show, and everyone in the Community Connect studio was enjoying the show as the videos rolled to the surprise of our honored guests.

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Each educator was told previously that we were planning to have them talk about the challenges they faced educating their students virtually and through the pandemic. But after discussing this topic for a few minutes, we revealed our true reason for having them on the show, as we pulled up videos of their students and colleague giving them thanks and speaking about the amazing things they do as a teacher and a colleague.

Community Connect Host Lisa Germani, with Elena Brantley-Phillips, ESE Teacher in the Detroit Public Schools Community District

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Elena Brantley-Phillips is an ESE (Exceptional Student Education) Teacher for students on the Autism Spectrum, whose colleagues from Durfee Elementary Middle School in the DPSCD surprised her on video to express the kind of impact she’s had on their lives and what she does for her students that makes her an amazing teacher. Their words left Brantley-Phillips speechless and completely surprised.

Did you recognize Elena Brantley-Phillips? Let us know if she’s been a teacher in your child’s life and the kind of impact she’s had on them in the comments or on our social media pages!

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Watch the surprises for yourself on Community Connect! Saturday at 7am on CW50