Megan Sidge always knew she wanted to teach kids with special needs, following in her mom’s footsteps.
She started volunteering in her mom’s special needs classroom in middle school.
“It was so awesome to see how much of an impact she was making on her students and truly I fell in love right from there, I knew that I wanted to do the same,” she says.
Now Sidge, who teaches students with autism spectrum disorder at Hickory Woods Elementary School in the Walled Lake Consolidated School District, is getting some special recognition for all she’s doing for her students, whom she considers her own kids. She was named Michigan Lottery’s Excellence in Education 2020 Educator of the Year, which comes with a $10,000 prize.
More than 650 educators from across the state were nominated for the lottery’s Excellence in Education weekly award during the past school year.
Her motivation, she says, comes from her students and seeing them grow inside and outside the classroom. “Not only are they learning from me, I’m learning from them.”
“I truly love my job. It’s like I’m going to my second family,” says Sidge, who has been teaching five years and has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in special education from Michigan State University.