Awards for the 2013-2014 Academic Year

Valedictorian

Patricia Eldredge

Patricia is the Valedictorian for the Department of Special Education and Rehabilitation.  Her GPA was 3.97.  She's a dual major in Elementary and Special Education with an emphasis in mild/moderate disabilities.  She is a member of Phi Theta Kappa and has been on the Dean's list since Fall 2011.  She's creative, plays the piano, loves scrapbooking and crocheting.  She has also been in involved with Project Peer.  She did her student teaching at Vista Elementary in Granite School District Fall 2013 and is looking forward to teaching full-time.

Scholar

Kaitlin Dietrich

Kaitlin is very deserving of this award and has exemplified what it means to be a scholar.  She will be graduating with degrees from Elementary and Special Education with an emphasis in severe disabilities.  Kaitlin has been on the Dean's list for seven consecutive semesters and performs in the top 5% of her class.  She served as the Education Ambassador and proudly represented SPED and ELED.  She received the Exceptional Award for being the Outstanding Teacher Education Ambassador.  She has also been involved with Best Buddies, is an Americorp volunteer, has provided 500 hours of service to students with disabilities, and has provided respite care for adults with disabili†ies.   She served as an Undergraduate Teaching Fellow for Dr. Bob Morgan Spring 2014.

Undergraduate Teaching Fellow

Abigail Lewis

Abigail served as an Undergraduate Teaching Fellow (UTF) for Barbara Fiechtl for Fall and Spring semesters 2013-2014.  As a UTF,  Abbi organized assessment equipment, provided practice opportunities for the students to learn how to test a young child and scheduled communication role plays for students to practice responding in difficult situations. She enjoyed working with students on their role play assignments as this refreshed her skills too.  She also prepared a couple of lectures for class and this gave her additional confidence in her skills.  Abbi is a big sports fan and in sixth grade had the opportunity to meet Payton Manning at the Super Bowl.

SPED Teacher of the Year

Kimberly Snow

Kimberly Snow has taught at Utah State University for 18 years.  She currently teaches seven courses.  Her main teaching focus is in the Severe/Profound Special Education Program.  The course content which Kimberly teaches focuses on a variety of curriculum areas such as: language arts, mathematics, communication, social skills, dressing, eating, toileting, additional self-care skills, vocational skills, and others.  She also teaches assessment, practica experience and introduction to special education. She was recently awarded the Disability Resource Center Professor of the Year award for her work on making her courses accessible.  A main goal of Kimberly's in teaching any of her courses is that she instills in her students a respect for individuals with disabilities.  She has a great deal of respect for individuals with disabilities and finds it an honor to be able to advocate for them and do her part in ensuring they will h ave the best education possible.  She also provides effective teaching tools to students at USU, who will eventually become teachers to students with disabilities and ensure they have a better quality of life.  Her enthusiasm for teaching special education easily rubs off on her students and she has helped to teach and train hundreds of amazing special educators who have this same excitement for teaching.

Special Recognition Award

Tashina Meaker

Tashina Meaker is a special education teacher at Logan High School.  She gives 100% to her classroom and goes above and beyond of what is expected.   She makes sure that every student has equal amounts of attention and that each student is making progress academically, socially and behaviorally.  She is aware of the many needs of the individual students within the classroom.  Tashina is more than a teacher but she is a community representative.  She has provided dozens of groups with various trainings and professional development as well as facilitated meetings and/or trainings without any worry or hesitation.  She has been a guest lecturer in several courses in the Special Education department teaching the pre-service teachers the many aspects of being a special educator.  She is an advocate and spokesperson for individuals with disabilities within the school, district, and community.  Tashina is also a Best Buddies advisor at Logan High School.  She is also an avid supporter and spokespersobn of "Spread the Word to End the Word" in connection with the Special Olympics.  She has a wonderful reputation and relationships with USU's Department of Special Education and Rehabilitation and has worked with dozens of practicum and student teachers.  Her classroom has been a wonderful training ground for future teachers.  Students, teachers, peer tutors, staff members and parents would all agree that she is an amazing teacher.

Student Representative Recognition Award

Michael Jacobson

Michael aka "Mikey" was the SPED Student Representative who participated in the Undergraduate Committee and Faculty Meetings during the 2013-2014 academic year.  Mikey went above and beyond in representing the student concerns to the faculty as well as relaying information from the faculty to the students.  He was an active participant in meetings and often his comments generated great discussions among faculty.  The faculty wants to honor his excellent effort with this award.  Mikey will be student teaching fall semester and is looking forward to teaching full-time.