hi my name is LEANN WIKERT SEE MARtha every other monday a t bowling i have spical needs thank you very much
I met Martha 13 yrs ago when we first move to Cincinnati and my daughter, who has Rett Syndrome, started 4th grade. Martha was so kind and caring towards her. She took a lot of time to get to know our daughter and her disorder and we greatly appreciated her commitment.
I have known Mrs. Colaner since I was at Nagel. She helped us at Afterhours after school club at Nagel
Although I had Martha's daughter as a student years ago, I got to know her on deeper level last year when she was the paraprofessional aide for two students in my class. These students didn't have severe needs to which she needed to attend, but Martha was always the best advocate for them. She communicated and redirected behaviors in a kind, firm, and appropriate way. In addition, she encouraged and equipped the other typical students to step in and help their special needs classmates whenever possible. She was also always a great liaison between myself, the parents, and their classroom teacher. I didn't have to go out of my way to make sure the students had their necessary materials or showed up for concerts on time. Martha was always organized enough to foresee those needs and take care of them. She is a great asset to Turpin High School and would be well-deserved to receive the Life Changer Award!
She was the aid to to a girl in my homeroom but she spread positivity and encouragement to the entire class.
Martha Colaner worked with my son Michael for four years during high school. Michael has autism and would prefer to stay on the outskirts of any classroom activities and not participate. Martha understood this and made sure Michael participated with the group and contributed so that his classmates and teachers would get to know him. Sometimes this made Michael uncomfortable but in the end he actually liked being part of the group and it drew him out of himself. Martha accepts the children in the classroom for who they are and looks beyond their disability. She speaks to them like any typical student and allows encourages them to flourish to their full potential. Her kindness and respect for them as individuals is refreshing. She rolls with it all the while pushing them. As a parent what more can you ask for from a teacher. We were blessed to have her for four years and feel Michael wouldn't have come so far without her!
I worked with Martha for 5 years as the speech language pathologist in the classroom. She is truly an amazing teacher and mentor to all of her students. The most special gift that she brings to the table is her ability to see the big picture and understand that her students have exciting lives to lead. She can take a long term goal for any student and break it down into it's component skills and start teaching them immediately! She is a perfect blend of compassion, kindness, and no- nonsense. Martha is well deserving of this award 10 times over!
Martha is an angel on earth. Our daughter, Jenna, is 18 and a senior in high school. She has been fortunate to have Mrs. Colaner as part of her school life off and on since first grade. In the early years, Mrs. Colaner provided a firm yet comforting presence as Jenna's paraprofessional. Her expectations for Jenna were extremely high yet attainable. Her patience level was incomparable. During grade school, Jenna sometimes liked to wander off the playground into nearby woods, despite Mrs. Colaner and others running at top speeds to stop her. I remember one time I had a call to come and pick up Jenna because she was covered in mud. I believe she was about 7 years old at the time. She had rolled around in those woods, laughing as her teachers (including Martha) hiked and tripped through branches and mud to claim her. I don't think I was able to express my sincere gratitude to Martha that day. I was so shocked when I arrived at the scene. All I could think about was "Will Jenna always be a runner? How will I handle this as Jenna gets older?" Chasing after Jenna was a task Martha performed that was way beyond the call of duty. In her shoes, I might have called the police. Not only did she forge ahead in the search, she smiled at me afterwards and said something like "This is my job." WOW.
Jenna is now in high school and stopped running many years ago - in part, due to maturity. But I think Martha is a huge part of Jenna's success story today. Over the years. Martha took a personal interest in Jenna. She re-directed her energy. She learned how to recognize when Jenna needed a break to head off negative behaviors (like running away). And she has championed Jenna only when Jenna deserves it. I believe that is what has made the biggest difference. Martha understands that all students want to feel needed, have a sense of purpose and take pride in a job done well. That's life. There may be accommodations made for Jenna and some of her peers, but there are no hand-outs, no passes on what is expected at school. Martha's students understand she means business.
Finally, Martha loves her job. That, in itself, makes her special. How fortunate we parents are to have known someone who takes such joy in helping others. Martha has been a teacher/paraprofessional for many years now. In her job, she does not go through the motions. Every day with her is a new adventure that she can't wait to live! Thank you, dear, dear Mrs. Colaner.
I have had the privilege of working side by side with Martha for over five years and I can honestly say that she is one of a kind. She has a witty sense of humor that makes the students (and me) laugh throughout the day, but she also knows when to be firm.
Any chance Martha gets, she takes everyday problems that the students encounter and turns them into learning experiences. For example, if someone has a spill at lunch, instead of Martha taking over and cleaning it up, she teaches them how to clean up the spill using a bucket and a mop. She truly believes that her job is to get every student ready to live their life an independently as possible. She helps them to to see past their disabilities to just how bright their future can be if they focus on their strengths.
In lots of small ways, Martha is a life changer!!
Oh, how special it is to wake up to read this kind of story! Martha is a very special person and deserves recognition. Thank you Christine Cassedy for nominating my sister-in-law. Martha is a very special lifechanger!
Martha Colaner’s passion and commitment to working with developmentally challenged students is widely recognized within the Forest Hills School District family. She is constantly devising new strategies and activities that benefit her students both in and out of the classroom. As with any good teacher, Martha is both an advocate and task master. She sets high expectations for her students and holds them accountable for reaching their potential. This coupled with her tireless selfless advocacy for her students rights and inclusion makes her in my opinion a true classroom life changer.