LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Shayne Sawyer

Position: Special Education Teacher
School: V. Sue Cleveland High School
School District: Rio Rancho Public Schools
City, State: Rio Rancho, NM

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Shayne Sawyer was nominated by Kimberly Ulibarri, the parent of a student.

Mrs. Sawyer epitomizes everything you could want in a great teacher.  She ensures that her students, including those with special needs, receive the best education possible.

"I have many examples of her commitment to student success. She obtained assistive technology for my son to better access the curriculum and remain on an equal playing field with his peers, visited our home during summer vacation to set up and organize his electronic files for the upcoming school year, and tirelessly searched for new ways for my son to be successful in class," Ulibarri said. "Mrs. Sawyer has been my son’s greatest advocate in his entire school career, and she has only known and worked with him for one year."

Mrs. Sawyer is also a dedicated case manager for her students, following special education laws, ensuring students’ educational rights and making sure other teachers are informed and educated. Her dedication is evident in her day to day interactions with both her students and their parents.

"She has provided a plethora of knowledge and support, and has been a tremendous help for both me and my family as we navigate the unfamiliar territory of high school," Ulibarri said. "I believe she is the sole reason my son had such a successful year as a high school freshman last year, when he could have fallen through the cracks and failed all of his classes without her support and dedication."