Emily Wegener won the CMS 2014 EC Teacher of Excellence Award!

EXCITING NEWS! Emily Wegener, Amity Gardens resident and board member, won the CMS 2014 EC Teacher of Excellence Award!

Emily Wegener teaches kindergarten through fifth-grade special needs students at Albemarle Road Elementary in southeast Charlotte, near Albemarle Road Park. Principal Tyler Ream said Wegener works to ensure that a student’s disability doesn’t define them.

“As a society, we look at the disabilities kids have and wonder if they can achieve at a high level. She’s a reminder that they can do amazing things,” he said. “They may not be able to talk, but they’re still thinking and learning, communicating. … And Emily brings that out. She works every single day to ensure it’s not a limiting factor in their life, which I think is a pretty admirable thing to do.”

Wegener received her bachelor’s from Appalachian State University and her master’s in special education teaching from UNC Charlotte. She began her special education teaching career at CMS in 2007.

The students Wegener teaches have moderate to fairly profound disabilities, Ream said, but she “is a passionate advocate for ensuring those students have the access they need to resources, to quality education.”

Wegener also works to extend her reach beyond her own classroom with her involvement with Girls on the Run and an intramural program that has taught hundreds of kids how to swim, Ream said.

While many special education teachers can often become isolated – “They don’t do (lesson) planning with everyone else,” Ream said – Wegener embodies the “our kids” attitude to all students. “This person not only walks her talk, she serves her kids and others as well.”

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