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The Giving Crew: CSD Honors 10 Special Education Professionals for Exceptional Service

They go the extra mile to tailor instruction. They document everything, not because it’s a federal requirement but because they want parents to be able to meaningfully celebrate their children’s progress. They have hearts of gold and a work ethic to match.

With the season of giving approaching, we’d like to take a moment to recognize those who give so much of themselves to ensure all children reach their potential. Over the past few months, CSD’s Special Education Department visited schools to surprise 10 educators and related service providers with Exceptional Service Awards.

This year’s awardees are exemplary of caliber of instruction delivered each day with patience and care in schools throughout the District.
Mary Weidman-Hoffman is a speech pathologist at Copperview Elementary. She was nominated for the growth she has made personally and professionally. She does a phenomenal job advocating for students, coordinating services, and connecting with outside providers as well as serving as a resource for school staff and faculty.
Heather Litster is an early childhood educator at Butler Elementary. She was nominated for her positive attitude and her ability to differentiate instruction for a wide range of students while still maintaining the fidelity of the curriculum. Her “I can do it” attitude makes her a valuable member of the early childhood team.
Teresa Ockey is a psychologist at Sandy Elementary and was nominated because of her impact on student learning at her school. She is actively involved in her school community and is invested in the success of all students.
Marian Gladbach is the department head at Jordan High. She builds positive relationships with students, and is known as a “fierce advocate” for their educational needs. Marian is actively involved in her school and with the other special education teachers on her team.
Jodi Brown is a resource teacher at Willow Canyon Elementary. She is an exceptional teacher who works hard, while deploying an unmatched sense of humor, to help her students make progress toward their goals.
Emily Christofferson is a speech pathologist at Draper Elementary. Though relatively new to Canyons, she has shown real leadership in overcoming challenging circumstances this past year while stepping up to help keep the school’s special education team on track with their paperwork and organized.
Angelee Gardiner is a speech pathologist at Silver Mesa Elementary. She promotes positivity with everyone, from the students she singles out each day for praise to the colleagues she uplifts with encouraging remarks. Angelee has knack for making the mystery of special education language accessible, which shows in her ability to keep parents actively engaged in their child’s education.
Dana Crosby is a resource teacher and member of the Student Support Team at Willow Springs Elementary. Always patient and kind, Dana has been known to spend hours calling parents or writing emails to update them on their student’s progress. She doesn’t miss a beat when it comes to overseeing the master special education schedule, or finding new ways to reach and inspire students to learn.  
Linda Draper is a special education teacher at Union Middle. A leader, an innovator, a tremendous worker, and an advocate for all students–particularly students with learning disabilities–Linda brings to Union a fresh perspective about instructional strategies that motivate learners and is continually seeking ways to differentiate her instruction.
Becky Morgan is a resource teacher at Bell ViewRelationships are important to Becky, which is why she takes time to get to know her students and their families as well as the school’s staff. A mentor to new teachers, she interacts with everyone in a kind, supportive way, including students whom she buoys with words of encouragement while holding them to high expectations.

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Lucie Chamberlain

Alta View Elementary

If a movie about super teachers were ever made, Lucie Chamberlain would be a prime candidate for a leading role. Fortunately for her kindergarten students at Alta View Elementary, she already thrives in a supporting role for them. Parents thank her for being a “super teacher.” She is also described as an “amazing colleague.” Whether students need help in the classroom or from home while sick, Lucie goes above and beyond to help them learn, overcome fears, and feel important and cared for. Lucie is the reason a number of kids went from hating school to loving it, according to parents. The way she exudes patience, sweetness, positive energy, and love for her students with special needs melts is appreciated and admired. One parent noted: “Both my kids wish she could be their teacher forever.” Another added:  “She treats every student like their learning and their feelings are her priority.” Super teacher, indeed!

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