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Special Educators Compete For ‘Top Teacher’ Title


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A special educator could be named the nation’s “top teacher” on television’s “LIVE with Kelly and Michael.”

Of five finalists in the talk show’s national teacher hunt, three are special education teachers.

For “LIVE’s Top Teacher Search,” viewers were invited to nominate teachers for being “outstanding mentors to their students in and out of the classroom, for making their schools better and for going above and beyond to serve their communities.”

Special education teachers from New York, Texas and Connecticut are now in the running. All three were nominated by parents of their students for going the extra mile.

Timothy Bavosa, whose son has autism and a history of emotional outbursts and tantrums, wrote in nominating teacher Ann Marie Rooney that because of her efforts his son has had no outbursts all year and is now able to participate in many mainstream classes.

Meanwhile, Lisa Clements sought to spotlight teacher Suzette Steward for helping students be successful outside the classroom by creating a camp for kids with disabilities to learn social skills and expand their abilities while having fun.

And, in nominating Erin Palonen, the mother of a child with autism wrote that the teacher helped her to better appreciate her “extraordinary and rare” daughter.

All five teacher finalists will appear on the syndicated talk show the week of April 29. Subsequently, viewers will vote to select the “top teacher” winner who will be announced May 6.

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  1. cathy says:

    Good luck to all three of these finalists. Win or lose, they are heroes to their students as well as their grateful families.

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