Top 10

Margie Clevenger

Bowling Green, KY
When Margie C.’s students are asked why she is a good teacher, you’re likely to hear “she cares” or “she believes in me”. When you ask anyone else why she’s a good teacher, you’ll hear “She’s the most passionate about what she does”. Margie believes every child has the right to an amazing education.

I would like to nominate my sister, Margie, as best educator. Not only is she an amazing sister, she goes above and beyond the call of duty to be one of the best special education teachers out there.

In the classroom, she creates a positive learning environment with children who have special needs. There, she gives her students the chance to do things they may never get to do, whether it is fishing, bowling, or even going to a farm to milk cows! Margie understands how important it is to create fun and challenging learning situations.

I’m not the only one who notices her excellence. The director of Special Education at her school has asked her many times to help train other teachers who may be struggling or who need a fresh perspective for a student in their classroom. She has also had several student teachers come into her classroom before entering the field.

Margie pushes her children because she believes in success. She expects results and does everything in her power to get them; even if it’s just getting one spoken word. Her students know she believes in them because when she walks out of her classroom, her work doesn’t stop. From organizing and participating in The Buddy Walk (an event to raise money for the Special Olympics), to volunteering in the Special Olympics and even playing an active role in a community based program called The Leader in me, Margie does it all.

Not only does she take part in organized programs to help children with special needs, she gets involved with her student’s families. Because Margie knows having a child with special needs can be expensive, she asks friends and family for donations to buy Christmas gifts for one of her students whose family can’t afford to do so. Another way she has helped a family is when a mother was recovering from surgery and unable to take her son to an orchestra concert he was supposed to play in, Margie volunteered to take him and even bought him appropriate attire. One of my favorite stories about Margie is when she knew a student’s family was struggling to make ends meet; she organized a coalition to do a room makeover for the student.

Though Margie didn’t become a teacher until she was 42, she has always expressed a love for people who have special needs. Raising her family and overcoming challenges as a single mom took a lot of energy and effort. I hope you can see as clearly as I that Margie C. is indeed the Best of US.