Jennifer Love wins 2017 EC Teacher of the Year!

Jennifer Love wins 2017 EC Teacher of the Year!
Posted on 04/26/2017
love award

HPS educator, Jennifer Love, wins 2017 EC Teacher of the Year!

Jennifer Love, speech language pathologist at Viewmont Elementary School, Grandview Middle School and Hickory High, was recognized on Wednesday, April 26, as the 2017 Exceptional Children’s Teacher of the Year, representing all EC teachers from local, neighboring school districts.

Already selected as the Hickory Public Schools EC Teacher of Excellence for 2016-2017, Ms. Love’s dedication to teaching exceptional children (EC), particularly those diagnosed with autism, was recognized with a monetary gift as well as a plaque.

The celebration luncheon was held at Warehouse 18 and was sponsored by Bash for Autism and Parents of Autistic Children of Catawba Valley. The annual Bash for Autism serves as the primary fundraiser for the awards luncheon with the next Bash scheduled for this August 19 at Warehouse 18. Funds are also raised to support teacher scholarships and supplies for EC classrooms.

“I am honored and very grateful to be able to work with exceptional children,” said Love. “The support I receive from all staff is tremendous. It is a team effort—as I could not help the children without everyone’s willingness to help the team. I was completely surprised by this award—as I really thought I was just attending a nice luncheon, collectively celebrating the strides we have made in teaching exceptional children. I am humbled and overwhelmed with excitement!”

According to Matt Miller, the creator of Bash for Autism and owner of Warehouse 18, The Food Factory, and Bistro127, all teachers make a difference in the lives of children. “But with the EC teachers and particularly those who work with autistic children, their support directly helps family members who struggle with the challenges of raising children with autism,” said Miller.

“Parents of autistic children are not always able to take their children to public settings," said Miller. "The autistic child can behave differently—and families need support. The EC teachers do an excellent job of not only teaching our children, but helping the parents cope with the everyday stress.”

The parents of an adopted child with mild autism, Matt and Denise Miller have watched their son make progress with the excellent care and instruction from his teachers. “This recognition luncheon allows us to make EC teachers feel special—to feel appreciated for making such a positive impact on our families. Today’s luncheon awards provided our community a chance to say ‘thank you,’” said Miller.

Jennifer Love, in addition to being assigned to three schools to serve as the speech language pathologist, also serves on the autism diagnostic team for Hickory Public Schools—assisting district-wide evaluations.

When not working directly to assist exceptional children, Love volunteers at Viewmont Elementary to help lead the dance team. She also enjoys preparing specialty cake designs and home projects.

But just like a dedicated teacher, Love has already declared that her monetary award will not be spent for personal projects. “I am thrilled to receive these extra funds,” she said, “as I am going to purchase classroom supplies to help enhance the daily learning for my students.”

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(Post by Beverly Snowden, HPS director of communications)