LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Bonnie Corder

Position: Hearing Impaired Teacher
School: Oakdale Elementary School
School District: Toledo Public Schools
City, State: Toledo, OH

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Bonnie Corder was nominated by her principal, Robert Yenrick.

"Changing lives is not just a yearly occurrence for Bonnie Corder," explains Yenrick. "She lives this mission every day. Bonnie is such a positive person in my building. However, her greatest strengths are her heart and high standards for everyone around her. She expects students, families, and staff to live up to a standard. If a person can not live up to that standard, she personally will work to get not only the students but their families as well."  

Ms. Corder works with students that come to school with no language due to being deaf. Some students have various other issues associated with being deaf, as well. Almost every one of her kids demonstrates beyond a year's academic growth whenever they are with her. Usually, these students start to test at grade level by the third grade, which is astonishing.  

Ms. Corder has been working with a child for the past two years who is deaf and has moderate autism. This child wanted nothing to do with anyone in the school building and could barely communicate. Now, he is so social and looks forward to coming to school every day.

"Seeing him each day brightens my day with how far he has come," said Yenrick.  

Most teachers take the summers off or relax at night, but not Ms. Corder. After 40 years of teaching, she signs all of her students up for summer school, then signs up to teach them all summer long herself. At night, she goes to the families' houses to teach the parents how to sign with their own children. She is so loved. The 100th anniversary of Oakdale took place the day before Ms. Corder was nominated, and people came from all over the Midwest to see her and the other teachers.

"It was a blessing to have them in our building," said Yenrick. "I have worked in both urban and suburban settings as an administrator, and I can tell you that Bonnie Corder is the best special education teacher I have ever met. If you are looking for LifeChangers, I think she has helped change my life, and I am not even in her classroom."

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