Education Honorees: Most Likely to Change Lives — Sandra Dawn Foley

Oct 29, 2020 | Education Awards, Today's Family Now

Sandra Dawn Foley is a special education teacher and Best Buddies advisor at Butler Traditional High School.

They are changing the educational landscape through their innovative ideas and dedication to seeing every student achieve academic success. Read on to find out how one of our Excellence in Education Honorees is bringing joy into the classroom.

SANDRA DAWN FOLEY
Special Education Teacher, Best Buddies Advisor at Butler Traditional High School
Category: Special Needs

Dawn Foley discovered her love of teaching while interning as a college student at a community center. “I was a peer tutor in my very classroom when I was a senior at Butler and remembered how much joy the students brought me. I knew I wanted to work with the special needs population but never imagined I wanted to be a teacher. I took the plunge and applied for grad school, realizing that inclusion in education was my passion.” Dawn also manages the school’s peer tutoring program, which selects senior students who apply to work in their classrooms. The tutors assist the students with their learning and create a socially inclusive atmosphere for them within the school. “I want all of my students to have a place they feel that they belong in, that they can relate to, that they can trust,” she says.

Defining moment: I had a peer tutor who looked at me and said ‘thank you.’ Before she became a peer tutor in my class, she had other desires for what she wanted to be when she grew up. Her heart and passion changed when she saw the joy that her job brought her every day and how she was changing the lives of her students and peers.

Changes she hopes to see: I would like for education to be respected. Not by one group or another in particular but by society as a whole.

Best thing: I think we have done a very good job of rolling with the punches and figuring out how to make NTI work. I had zero experience creating an online classroom and teaching remotely. Now we are taking what we have learned that works and does not work and making it even better. Virtual classrooms are thriving, and students are continuing to learn, despite this crazy virus.

“I want all my students to have a place they feel that they belong in, that they can relate to, that they can trust,” Dawn Foley says.

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