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September 20, 2004

ISD teacher honored by Board of Regents

From: Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil, IA - Sep 20, 2004

BRIEN T. BOYCE , Staff Writer

Kathleen Wright was in shock when she found out she was honored for her contribution as a teacher by the Iowa Board of Regents.

"I had to sit down," Wright, a longtime employee of the Iowa School for the Deaf, said, "because there are so many teachers in this school that I admire, and it just felt like such an honor to be picked from among them."

Wright was one of the five chosen for the Iowa Board of Regents Award for Faculty Excellence, and was recognized Sept. 14 at the University of Iowa.

Wright, who has taught first- through third-graders at the school for seven years, has worked at ISD since 1968 under various other positions, including houseparent and an elementary school assistant.

The Board of Regents selects outstanding faculty and staff members annually from each of its five educational institutions.

"This year's award recipients epitomize the many faculty of our public education institutions who work every day to enhance the quality of life for Iowans," said Gregory Nichols, executive director of the Board of Regents in a press release. "They are in Iowa largely because of their great dedication to the Regent institutions."

Wright said she found out Aug. 17, her first day back to school.

The main point she's tried to emphasize to her children, Wright said, is for them to try new things.

"I want them not to be afraid, to have an enthusiasm with them for them doing hands-on activities."

Wright developed a reading program for the primary students where American Sign Language is taught while phonics and English is taught for the hard of hearing and students with cochlear implants.

"They need to hear a lot of language because of their hearing impairment," she said. "That's been a big problem for them."

Last year, Wright made no-sew fleece blankets with her students as part of a service project in her social studies class. The blankets were given to children in local hospitals.

Wright's main focus with her children is to make sure there is sufficient language-learning taught in all of the subjects.

Wright isn't satisfied with the status-quo, however. She said she's back in college at the graduate level, and plans to get her master's in behavior disorder.

"I want to be able to help other teachers to work with children with behavior concerns," she said.

©Daily Nonpareil 2004