Special education Teacher Aide Dawn Tyler is retiring from teaching after her 16th year working with students at AT. During her tenure, Tyler has seen events at AT that are designed to support special education grow in number, with new additions including Best Buddies week, a polar plunge, and Goalball and Wheelchair Basketball games during all PE classes. She has enjoyed participating in numerous events to support students and has demonstrated her passion for special education through her work with them.
Throughout all of her work, Tyler said that her favorite part was working with AT’s annual Sports Spectacular event, which includes games designed specifically for special education students and also includes non special education students. The event also involves both AT and Willowbrook.
“My favorite memory is working the Sports Spectaculars,” said Tyler. “It was always nice to see students from all over the county get together and have a great time.”
Other special memories include events such as the Polar Plunge. During this 2020 event, Tyler and several other District 88 staff members “took the plunge,” flying into freezing water as a challenge in order to raise money for Special Olympics. Participants each raised $100 in exchange for jumping into the water, and over $118,000 were raised in total, creating a huge impact.
Tyler said that she will miss AT and everything it has given to her over her time here. Despite the many events that she will miss participating in next year, she said the hardest thing to leave is going to be her work with her students and watching them grow and succeed over their four years under her teaching.
“What I will miss most is working with the students,” she said. “It always has given me great pleasure to work with them and to see the growth from freshmen year to graduation.”
After finishing up her final year at AT, Tyler plans to take some time off for herself and to travel with her family, especially her husband, who, like her, loves to travel. She said that she plans to make her retirement her time to do what she could not during the past two years as a result of Covid.
“My husband and I are planning to go to Ireland this summer,” she said. “We have been trying for two years, but because of Covid our trip was postponed. We also have other travel plans for the future.”
In addition, she hopes to spend some quality time with a new addition to her family.
“We also have a six month old grandson that we are excited to spend time with,” she said.
AT thanks Tyler for her over 15 years of work here and for the impact that she has had on many of its students.