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Carolyn Hirz – Amelia Earhart Elementary

I met Carolyn Hirz a few years ago when she joined our Special Education team as a teacher for children with behavior disorders at Amelia Earhart Elementary. During the years that I have known her, I have been continually impressed with her amazing ability to work with children who have problems managing their own behavior. Students who cannot succeed in their neighborhood schools are placed in Carolyn’s classroom. These children have displayed a variety of behavior concerns—from refusing to comply and do the work needed to learn to more significant acts of verbal and physical aggression.

Carolyn faces each new challenge with the determination to make a difference in the child’s life. And she does! Through consistency, humor and a genuine love, she is able to teach the students how to manage their own behavior. Many of her students have returned to their neighborhood schools with the skills they need to be successful.

One example of this is a young boy who threw a computer into the smart board at his school. He came to Carolyn’s class full of anger and ready to hurt anyone who tried to work with him. Carolyn was patient, kind and fair in her dealings with this young boy and he soon came to trust her. Within a year’s time, he was ready to return to his neighborhood school.

Carolyn is relatively new to the teaching profession. For someone so young she demonstrates the knowledge and skill level of a more experienced teacher. Carolyn works with some of the most difficult children in the district and makes it look surprisingly easy. She is truly worthy of recognition and the honor of being a “featured teacher”.

–Shauna Raby