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As we enter our 100th year of leading special education, the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) is recognizing exceptional educators from around the world who have shown a passion, dedication, and commitment to making a difference in the lives of the students who they teach. Hear from teachers about their personal experiences working in the field, and get inspired to make your own impact this year.

Sara Wallace

May 19, 2022
For as long as I can remember, I have always been inspired and drawn to children that arrived to school everyday despite challenges at home and various learning styles. My heart broke for these students who were repeatedly dismissed by educators that were not trained to meet their needs, were sent to the office or quite literally banished from the classroom. Students that were seen as “bad” were sent to other schools, and we never saw them again. When educators supported these children by simply listening, opening their hearts and showing compassion, I couldn’t help but notice the difference. Read more >

Kathy Boisvert

May 12, 2022
I have to say that being awarded the 2016 Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Teacher of the Year was one of the most rewarding experiences of my career. I was selected as the CEC Teacher of the Year in January. In May 2016, I was invited to the “The White House Event to Honor Great Educators.” President Obama honored the National Teacher of the Year alongside great educators from across the country. As part of the event, the President lifted up the role those great educators have played in improving our education system over the past several years while highlighting the progress we have made over the years he was in office. Representing the CEC at that event made me so proud to be an educator of children with exceptionalities. I felt like we were being held up to the same standards of the general education teachers and our work was judged to be just as essential and significant. Read more >

Nora Boyle

April 07, 2022
Nora Boyle started teaching in January 2020, during the height of the COVID pandemic. Before becoming a teacher, she was a special education paraprofessional for 12 years in a Setting 3 ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) in Shakopee, Minnesota. Before getting her teaching degree, she was also a substitute teacher at the Chisago Lakes School District. She went to Minnesota State University Mankato for her bachelor's degree and my two graduate degrees (ASD & DCD). Nora loves working with students in a Setting 3 program. Read more >


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