Special education teacher honaored by Chamber at GMSP
By Peggy Kelly
Santa Paula News
Published: November 23, 2011
A special education teacher admired by her peers and loved by her challenged students was honored by the Chamber of Commerce at the October Good Morning Santa Paula.
The Chamber-sponsored breakfast meeting was held at Enzo’s at the Glen Tavern Inn.
Isbell Middle School Principal Laura Rynott said Special Education Teacher Julia Queen more than deserves to be recognized as Educator of the Month due to her sincere classroom efforts.
“It is my privilege to recognize Julia; she works with our severely handicapped.” Rynott noted Queen is more that a teacher, but rather, “has a calling, a gift” for her duties that she always carries out with an upbeat, positive attitude and sincere smile.
A graduate of California State University Channel Islands, Queen earned her Master’s degree at California Lutheran University. She has an 11-year-old daughter Casey who, Rynott said, is already “planning to follow in Mom’s footsteps” and become a teacher.
Rynott read a tribute to Queen’s devotion to her students and teaching skills written by a colleague, which noted Queen has proven to be “sensitive and responsive” to the many needs of her students, many whom are considered severely disabled. But not by Queen, who successfully works with the students to prepare them for high school and beyond. “It is obvious,” wrote her colleague, “Julia has earned their confidence and respect” that makes students eager to succeed.
Queen told the GMSP crowd she has 10 moderate to severely handicapped students in her class this year. And “I keep them” throughout their years at Isbell Middle School. “When they graduate it’s like losing my own kids,” and Queen said teaching such students teaches one to “appreciate the small things” that, although often overlooked, remain vitally important.
GMSP Moderator Ben Schuck said he appreciates Queen’s devotion to students: “I know they have special challenges and you put your heart and soul” into their education.
Chris Sayer, Chamber president, said, “Having dedicated teachers” is one aspect of Santa Paula that makes it “so special.”