Unknown teacher making an impact

A profile on Special Education Teacher, Ms. Marie Naumann

Sally McDonnell, Reporter

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As a student at Eagle Valley High School, do you think that you know all the teachers in the building? We have the Math, Science, Social Studies, English, Journalism, Physical Education, Art, and Music departments, as well as several other branches of our teaching and administrative staff. Each department is essential in their own way, working like an interwoven machine, needing every individual part to make up one whole staff. Unfortunately, because we only see certain sections of this machine every day, it is easy for us to forget the importance of the other parts.

One of the many influential teaching staff who is, regrettably, overlooked by much of the student body is Marie Naumann, who works in the Special Education Department. Much of our student body has never met Ms. Naumann, but that does not make the work the she does here any less important than that of the other teachers who we see more often.

Sally McDonnell
Marie Naumann is a special education teacher at Eagle Valley High School.

Education within itself is deeply underrepresented as a career, and even more so is teaching in
special education. Ms. Naumann discovered that this was the career she wanted to pursue when she was a junior in high school. She had been doing a service project in a preschool for children both with special needs and without.

“I was drawn to students with disabilities and wanted to help them,” Naumann details, “I
wanted to fight for those who may not have had anyone to fight for them in the past.”

Ms. Naumann’s job in the classroom varies extensively from a typical high school teaching job. The students in her classroom are constantly working on different things, whether that be schoolwork, their IEP goals, or even just taking a sensory break. There is no set schedule, so she is constantly doing different things, and helping wherever they need her.

In addition to working with students on classwork, she also helps with things like medical and
nutritional needs as well as building life skills for the students she works with. Her career involves a lot of mixed work, and her schedule faces constant turbulence.

Despite the difficulties special education may entail, Ms. Naumann loves her students and job
here at Eagle Valley High School.

“Getting to see students overcome obstacles that they face is so inspiring- it is the whole reason I do this job,” Naumann reflects. “As well, our school has become so much more inclusive of students with special needs, even just during the time I have worked here. It is so heartwarming to see students and teachers becoming more aware and understanding of those around them.”

Sally McDonnell
Marie Naumann works with students one on one to ensure their goals are being met.

While her work in this field has changed the lives of her students, it has also sparked changes in her self as a person.

“I used to be so shy and scared to voice my opinions. Working in special education has allowed me to become more willing to fight for what I think is right, and advocate for my students and myself,” Ms. Naumann describes.

Even though Ms. Naumann doesn’t work directly with general education students outside of the clubs she sponsors, the impact of her work benefits each and every student in the building.

“I want to help all students, regardless of what their needs may be. A better education environment for all our students is my ultimate goal,” said Naumann.