Dustin Groen was nominated by an anonymous parent of a student.
"Mr. Groen has an absolute gift of working with kids with challenging behaviors," said the nominator. "Our son has high-functioning autism. He's highly intelligent, but struggles to understand social cues...We love him deeply, but his wiring makes life very difficult at times. Mr. Groen was able to make a connection with our son at their first meeting a year & a half ago. Since then, his calm presence and consistent encouragement has been nothing short of life-changing. Our son spent nearly a week at the local behavioral health hospital before school began last year, and we were very worried that all the disruptions from this pandemic would land him there again. With the support of an amazing educator and his team of aides, our son is thriving! He joined the bowling team and has made new friends this year. It is the biggest gift a parent could hope for."