Katie received the Franklin B. Walter Outstanding Educator Award for Madison Local School District. This award is presented by the State Support Team (Region 4) to recognize educators throughout schools in Lake and Geauga counties "who have made extraordinary contributions to the education of students with disabilities."
Katie is a graduate of Riverside High School. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Mount Union with a major in Political Science and a minor in Adolescent Education and History. She went on to Western Governors University, earning her Masters Degree in Special Education and has continued her education through Ashland University with 30+ graduate hours focusing on social/emotional learning. Currently, Katie is an ED teacher. She feels one of the biggest challenges she has in her role is establishing trust with students. To overcome this challenge she feels one needs to show up for them, build a positive rapport, hold students accountable and exhibit mutual respect.
Katie’s greatest joy is being part of students’ progressing their skills and abilities. “It is absolutely amazing to witness individual students exhibiting personal, academic, and social-emotional growth. This growth varies from small incidental gains (ex: having a positive behavior day) to major positive advancements (ex: regularly applying coping skills in order to manage their emotions).” She hopes her students are able to learn from their time together and apply their knowledge and skills to their own lives in order to make positive personal growth. Ultimately she hopes they become respectful, responsible, caring and productive citizens of our community. As far as advice for new to the field Intervention Specialists, “Never stop trying to make a positive impact. As educators, we aren't always able to observe the importance of our influence, but it is always there. Students are always watching and they do care what you say and what you do, even when they say they don't care. So if it seems like you are running into a brick wall and not making progress with a student, keep trying. When you feel knocked down, keep getting up and trying again for the students. You may be the most positive thing they have in their life at any given moment and the tougher the student is to get through to, the more they probably need you. There is truth in the phrase: The days are long, but the years go fast. Some days are really tough (as are some students), but I have never regretted giving everything I can each day to each one. Again, you often don't truly know the positive impact you have, but it is there and what you do matters.”
Katie ultimately hopes that she makes a difference in the lives of her students, and Katie, you most certainly are! Your students are blessed to have you as their educator and advocate! Congratulations on your achievement!!!