Seidel was among many nominated for the elite recognition. According to Exceptional Children's Dr. Nellie Aspel, spokesperson for the selection committee, “The decision was extremely difficult due to the high caliber of the nominees. But in the end, the committee chose Becky due to her cutting edge work with students with autism and her leadership in the field.”
Aspel added, “We are proud to have Becky represent Cleveland County Schools as our 2016 EC Teacher of Excellence.”
This is exciting and an honor,” said Seidel in response to being selected for the award. “I work with a fantastic group of people who have coached me well.”
Seidel began her career in education as an ABA Technician at Elizabeth Elementary. After a year and a half, she transitioned via lateral entry to a classroom S.A.I.L. (Social and Academic Instruction for Life) teacher serving students with severe disabilities needing a separate setting and specialized services. She has been a classroom teacher now for over six years, currently teaching at Marion Elementary.
Brandi Edwards, the assistant principal at Marion Elementary, nominated Mrs. Seidel for the award saying, “She is fantastic, an advocate for children and our school.”
“Becky’s philosophy about her students is ‘once they are in my room - they are in my heart,’ which she lives every day,” Edwards added.
Seidel holds a Bachelor of Science University of Massachusetts in Information Technology and obtained Special Education Adapted Curriculum Licensure through the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
“Becky is phenomenal in so many ways,” said Heather Self, principal at Marion. “She’s a true mentor and leader in our school.”
Seidel will receive formal recognition at the Exceptional Children Division’s 66th Conference on Exceptional Children at the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro in November.
Excerpt from Nomination Letter
Ms. Seidel effectively collaborates with her ABA technicians, related service personnel and support staff to make meaningful change in her students’ lives. She is a positive role model for other EC teachers and her students. In fact, she is a mentor for two of her current colleagues. Becky provides excellent support for the general education teachers during inclusion for her students and is a strong advocate for inclusive practices across the school setting.
Ms. Seidel continually reflects upon her classroom instructional practices and seeks improvement for the purpose of providing her students with optimal success. Becky considers the unique needs of each child within her classroom and adapts instruction as needed. Because many of her students are visual learners, she is intentional in her efforts to integrate technology. Her knowledge of Autism Spectrum Disorders and Applied Behavior Analysis is excellent, and she uses a variety of research-based strategies in her classroom including Teach Town, Discrete Trial Training, Reading Mastery, Touch Math, Early Literacy Skills Builder, Equals Math and a variety of autism specific social skills programs.
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