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.
Nicole Johnson is a special education teacher at the Lake Area Career and Technology Center in Devils Lake, ND. She has a passion for helping transition-aged students with intellectual disabilities learn employability skills. She does this through a community-based career education program where students learn through paid employment and a classroom-based business called DIFY (Do It For You). Nicole’s favorite part about her position is that she is able to let her creativity and the creativity of her students impact the community. Students in DIFY provide office logistics services, event decoration, fundraiser prep, and advertising for community businesses. Nicole loves that she can give her students so many opportunities to learn and develop real-world skills.
Nicole earned an undergraduate degree in Music Education from Dickinson State University in 2009, and her Strategist in Special Education with a Masters degree in Education from the University of Mary in 2013.
When she’s not teaching, Nicole enjoys spending time with her husband, Derryn, and her two kids, Jemma (8) and Linkyn (5). She also enjoys gardening, crafting, playing piano, and reading.