Ashleigh Katt won the Cessna Award for Teacher of the Year from the state of Colorado for working with students with emotional and behavior disorders.
The Hudsonville native graduated from Grand Valley in 2009, and works as a special education teacher at Talbott Elementary School in Colorado Springs.
“When entering the field of special education, I never imagined the level of challenges I would face, nor could I imagine how rewarding and fulfilling it would be to be a part of even the smallest of successes when working with students with behavior disorders,” said Katt. “This work is my passion and I feel privileged to have the opportunity to positively influence kids on a daily basis.”
Katt said the classes she took at Grand Valley prepared her for her career and said her professors in the College of Education were excellent.
Katt’s current principal, Carre Bonilla, said: “I have seen numerous students who have struggled and failed in a typical classroom and upon entering Ashleigh’s class began to thrive. She spends many hours in training learning about various disorders and diagnosis that create obstacles in learning. She spends endless hours planning lessons that mirror grade level curriculum for all four grade levels that make up her class. She then implements individualized plans and curriculum to meet the needs of each of her students.”