And her innovative way to streamline instruction for all students has garnered her national recognition.
Mrs. Singleton, 43, a special education teacher at Cherokee High School, was chosen as the third-place winner in ING's Unsung Heroes program on Thursday. The national program recognizes educators who develop innovative classroom projects.
Mrs. Singleton is one of 100 educators across the country who received $2,000 to fund her Meeting Our Standards Together project. As the third-place national winner, she received an additional $5,000 to fund her project.
ING officials were at Cherokee High in Canton on Thursday to surprise her with a check for $7,000.
Mrs. Singleton said she was overwhelmed by the recognition.
"It's such an honor," she said, adding it was the second time in as many years she submitted her project for consideration.
Her MOST project brings special education and general education students together to work and learn as a team. It provides increased opportunities for students with disabilities to participate in the regular education instruction.
The funds will be used to purchase the materials needed to start the program, Mrs. Singleton said.
More than 1,600 applications were considered this year for the awards. Of the 100 finalists, three winners received additional funding, with first-place given $25,000, second-place awarded $10,000 and third-place granted $5,000.
The top three winners were selected by ING's Educators Advisory Board, which is made up of six distinguished educators from across the country.
Since 1996, ING has contributed more than $3.5 million to nearly 1,500 educators, said Rhonda Mims, president of ING Foundation and senior vice president of the Office of Corporate Responsibility and Multicultural Affairs.
Mrs. Singleton's program, she said, stood out because it incorporated special needs and regular education students and faculty who would be "working towards a better education model ... by willing to help those in need."
Principal Debra Murdock said Mrs. Singleton's project reflects Cherokee High's "deep pride and commitment to accept one another" and its belief in the abilities of all students to succeed.
"I think her project speaks volumes about the commitment we have to offer our students a complete education including the acceptance of all students in each and every classroom," she said. "Penni's work is reflective of a school wide commitment by our teachers and staff to allow our students the opportunity to reach their full potential."
The project, Mrs. Singleton said, will help regular education students understand the needs of special education students.
Mrs. Singleton has taught at Cherokee High school for five years. Before Cherokee High, she worked at Liberty Elementary for two years and for one year at Sixes Elementary.
She previously taught in England, her home country, for two years. Mrs. Singleton earned her bachelor's degree in special education from Matlock College in England and her master's in inclusive education from Kennesaw State University.
Mrs. Singleton and her husband, John, live in BridgeMill and have an adult son, Jack, and two younger children, Max, 17 and Daniela, 13.
The administration at Cherokee High, she said, is very supportive, which makes a big difference in "how far you can go as a teacher."
And she said she hopes the MOST program will help special education students go as far as possible, too.
"I hope we will open doors for all students in the future," she said.