In honor of her work with special needs students, Sunrise Middle School teacher, Amber Jarosz, was chosen as the special education teacher of the year by the Arizona Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
The award recognizes her teaching experience gained over 17 years of working with students with various disabilities. Jarosz, according to a press release, feels a special connection to her students with learning challenges, since she suffered from dyslexia as a child.
“Growing up I struggled myself with dyslexia and I knew that students with similar struggles just needed support and the possibilities for them would be endless,” said Jarosz in the release.
“I ended up overcoming the obstacles associated with the learning disability with therapy and a very supportive family. In fact, my mother encouraged me to become a special needs teacher, once I was enrolled in college.”
She grew up in Phoenix and graduated from Horizon High School in the Paradise Valley School District, where she teaches. She also graduated from Southwestern College, now renamed Arizona Christian, with a degree in elementary education and a minor in special education.
She says the class in life skills she now teaches is her favorite, and where her heart lies, because she feels rewarded by seeing the students make progress at Sunrise Middle School.
“I’ve also taught math, English, and study skills to my students, who experience a wide-range of learning challenges,” said Jarosz.
Her career goal was always to become a teacher; and, she started helping students with disabilities when she was eight-years-old, the release noted.
“In middle school and high school, I worked as a student aide in the special needs classroom and also for one at my church,” Jarosz said.
“Amber goes to great lengths to ensure her students have an enriching experience that also is fun. One day, she had live animals in the classroom and on another day, she set up a group to present a dinosaur experience for the students,” stated her assistant principal Russell Paperman, complimenting her teaching performance.
“She makes every effort to engage the students in learning and to gain a level of independence, so that they can reach their full potential not only academically, but also socially and emotionally.”
Jarosz’s reaction to being selected the Outstanding Special Education Teacher by the DAR, was described as “pleasantly surprised and appreciative,” and what she calls the highlight of her career.
“I can’t express how grateful I am at receiving the award because it’s very encouraging. These past few years have been difficult for teachers. So, I am appreciative of the support from the DAR for teachers and for students,” said Jarosz.
Jarosz was nominated for the award by Terri Clarke, from the Paradise Valley Chapter of the DAR, which is an organization devoted to preserving American history, offers participatory programs to promote patriotism, and to complete community service projects, the release said.
DAR members can trace their lineage to ancestors who served in the American Revolution. The Arizona Daughters of the American Revolution sponsors an annual award to recognize the contributions made by a classroom special education teacher to improve education.
The award is given for activities that enhance the intellectual development of students beyond the classroom, making a difference in their communities and in the lives of their students.
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