Featured Teachers: Mandan High special education staff

Published: Mar. 13, 2023 at 7:35 AM CDT
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MANDAN, N.D. (KFYR) - This week’s Featured Teacher segment is a little different. Hope Sisk went to Mandan High School to learn about the progress one special education teacher is making for students and learned how much it was a team effort.

Transitioning to group settings is making a big difference for learning at Mandan High School.

“We put the fun in functional,” Kelli Frederick, a teacher, laughs with her team of special education professionals.

Special education students and their support professionals spent their Friday working on math skills and life skills at the same time during their game session. It’s part of how the special education staff at MHS is working to make a greater impact.

“Our students all have different challenges and needs. But at the end of the day, we just all work together with my staff, my paras and other case managers,” Alicia Weiand, a special education case manager, said.

Working together is key to their success. Teachers say they can band together during challenging times for students and celebrate victories together.

Now, they’re growing their team. With Mandan’s Peer to Peer Club and more involvement from other teachers around the school, they call it a breakthrough.

“Teachers say hi to them. They know their personalities. It’s really neat to see,” Becca Voorhees, a special education teacher, said.

Their newest initiative is “Operation Inclusion,” which encourages staff and peers to nominate someone going above and beyond to make others feel included.

“It’s really exciting to think of where we are. Our kids are so passionate. It’s really comforting to know that our youth is trying to fight battles for our students. It gives me hope for what our future will look like,” Frederick said.

One member of that team was a student teacher last year with a previous Featured Teacher. Alicia Weiand worked with Mrs. Reinbold in Hebron and says she’s working to make sure Mrs. Reinbold’s impact goes on to create many more positive changes in schools around the state.

If you have a teacher in mind for our Featured Teacher segment, email hope.sisk@kfyrtv.com.