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Teacher of the Year 2018-19

Our 2018-19 Teacher of the Year, Ms. Kelsie Myers!

I was born and raised in Chesterfield County, and I graduated from Monacan High School. I attended Longwood University where I played soccer on a scholarship for two years and earned a Bachelors of Science with a Special Education Concentration and a Masters of Science in Special Education. I first knew that I wanted to work with people with disabilities when I was a junior in high school. I had the opportunity to take service learning. During this experience, I worked in an elementary school classroom for students with intellectual disabilities. Throughout this time, I fell in love with the kids, and I really fell in love with the feeling that I got from working with the students. I remember the joy I felt after teaching a young child to count to 10. Something seemingly so minor had a huge impact on my life’s path.

During the years leading up to my teaching career, I volunteered with Special Olympics, worked as a personal aide for twin brothers with cerebral palsy, and worked at Camp Baker, a day support program for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Throughout these experiences, my love for this special population of people grew, and I knew I was making the right career choice. I truly believe that each student CAN learn regardless of his or her disability. I feel that I learn just as much from my students as they do from me, and I think they make me a better person every day.

This is my 10th year teaching, and my 5th year at Manchester. I started my teaching career at Crenshaw Elementary School where I was a collaborative teacher for students with learning disabilities. I then moved to Bailey Bridge Middle School where I started the program for students with moderate intellectual disabilities. Finally, I moved to Manchester where I teach students with moderate intellectual disabilities, and I LOVE IT!

I coached soccer at Manchester for 7 years. I started the Lancer Cafe, a student-run business, during my first year at Manchester. Through this experience, students are able to practice valuable employment skills, social skills, and math skills, all while raising money for our program! Along with this, I helped to start the Sparkle Cheer Program, an inclusive cheerleading team that allows students with and without disabilities to cheer together as part part of a varsity team. Throughout this school year, my colleagues and myself have worked hard to implement a program called “Champions Together”.This endeavor involves the creation of an inclusive track team and school club made up of students with and without intellectual disabilities. Students with and without disabilities compete alongside one another against other schools for various track and field events. Students in the club will meet each month during school hours and work on projects involving diversity, service, and inclusion, all while building meaningful friendships between students with and without disabilities.

My favorite thing about my job is the relationships I get to build with my students and their families. We often have the same students for up to seven years. This allows us to build amazing, lasting relationships. I also work with the best special educators and instructional assistants in the county under the most supportive administration I could ask for. Manchester is every special education teacher’s dream school!

My personal life is pretty amazing. I have a wonderful husband, my high school sweetheart, and an amazing three-year old daughter named Ellslie. My husband and I are expecting our second child this August. In my spare time, I enjoy playing soccer, running, exercising, being outdoors, reading, playing with my daughter, and camping! My hero is Helen Keller, and my favorite quote is “The only disability in life is a bad attitude.”