Skip to main content

The Council for Exceptional Children Names Douglas Middle School Teacher 2024 Special Educator Rising Star

Tori Nielsen, a special education teacher at Douglas Middle School in South Dakota, was named the recipient of the 2024 Rising Star Special Educator of the Year Award from the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). The award recognizes a CEC member K-12 teacher who is in the first five years of their special education career who exemplifies the best in special education practices.

In her five years teaching high school and middle school Tori has significantly contributed to her students, classrooms, department, and school.  She advocates for diversity and strives to create inclusive classroom environments where everyone feels valued and respected. She also pushes for inclusive and equitable opportunities outside of the classroom, creating a welcoming school environment. 

“Tori's dedication to her middle school students who struggle with emotional, behavioral, and academic needs is truly commendable. She champions the growth of each student while respecting their individual dignity,” writes her colleague Cora Lee Alley.

Monica Waltman, Director of Special Services in the Douglas School District, writes, “Tori inspires her colleagues, consistently sharing innovative teaching strategies and contributing to their professional development.”

Tori was recognized on March 14, 2024, during the CEC Convention and Expo in San Antonio, TX.  

Posted:  14 May, 2024

© 2024 Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). All rights reserved.