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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.

Stacie has been a special education teacher for nine years, the most recent eight at Glasgow High School, where she works with students with moderate to severe disabilities ranging in age from 14 to 21 years. GHS is the lone high school of the Glasgow Independent School District in Glasgow, Kentucky, Additionally, Stacie enjoys supporting current and future teachers in learning and implementing evidence-based practices to benefit students with disabilities in their classrooms through her job as an adjunct professor at Western Kentucky University. Prior to becoming a teacher, Stacie was employed at the Kelly Autism Program at Western Kentucky University where she had the pleasure of working with both children and adults on the autism spectrum.  She also has experience as a Community Living Support provider through the Michelle P. Waiver program.

Stacie grew up with a close relative on the autism spectrum.  This experience instilled in her at a young age that everyone has a place and can learn and teach others. She recognized the importance of communication, self advocacy and an ability-focused attitude in order to create change and inclusion in schools and the greater community.

This early experience helped shape Stacie into the advocate for children and adults with disabilities that she is today. Within her classroom, she stresses the importance of presuming competence and self-advocacy.  Stacie organized a service for her students that allows them to run errands for faculty and staff around town.  This provides students the opportunity to not only build relationships with the community while they are practicing important life skills but also to gain confidence in their ability to give back to others.  Stacie believes in celebrating students.  She looks forward each year to collaborating with her school community to host the Scottie Games, an event to showcase abilities of students with intellectual disabilities in the Glasgow Independent School District.  Stacie’s proudest moments involve seeing her students develop the confidence and skills necessary to fulfill their independence and employment goals.

Stacie is thankful for having the ability to help others in her various teaching roles. She has met many wonderful people, lifelong friends and advocates in her professional journey.  Through all of these experiences Stacie believes that teaching and learning happens in two ways: giving students essential skills so they can achieve and educating our community on the infinite talents and attributes students and young adults can offer their community.

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Posted:  31 March, 2022
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