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By starting a school food pantry, this special education is meeting a need while empowering her students.
2019 Teacher Champion Susan Dodd

Meet Susan Dodd. With a master’s degree in special education for students with severe disabilities, Susan was the perfect candidate for developing and implementing a post-graduate program for young adults with special needs at Bartlett High in Webster. 

Often, special needs students can feel isolated. Like the teacher champion she is, Susan found a way to break this isolation by creating a variety of opportunities for her special needs students to help hungry kids in the Webster Public School District. 

Two or three mornings each week Susan’s students arrive at the local elementary school to help pass out boxes of breakfast foods to kids in need of an extra snack. They also help fill afterschool meal bags for over three hundred students, and thanks to Susan’s appeals, some of the bags are able to be brought back to the high school and distributed to anyone in need of weekend food supplies! 

At Bartlett High, Susan’s students help set up for meals in the cafeteria, learn about nutrition in a fully functioning kitchen (with Susan as teacher, of course), and even make-up bags of non-perishable foods for students to take home during winter break.

Susan has created a community based on taking care of one another’s needs. As she tells it, “my passion in life as a teacher has always been to teach my students, with their tremendous abilities, ways to become proud and productive young adults within their community.” We think Susan has succeeded beyond measure.

As one of Project Bread’s 2019 Teacher Champions, Blue Cross Blue Shield and the American Federation of Teachers-Massachusetts are happy to celebrate Susan and the eleven other recipients of the Teacher Champion Award! 

Learn more about our 2019/20 Initiative to address hunger in the classroom with our partners and the amazing work that Teacher Champions across Massachusetts are doing to address hunger in the classroom, helping students to reach their fullest potential. 

Filed under: Spotlights, Teacher Champions