Moorhead High Teacher of the Year works to meet needs of students
March 2, 2018
Working with individuals with disabilities in a residential group home setting led Meagan Blake to her career as a special education teacher at Moorhead High School.
“The experiences I had while working with these individuals left an impact on my life, and I decided then that I wanted to continue to work with this population of individuals in the classroom,” said Blake, named this year’s Moorhead High Teacher of the Year.
According to Dave Lawrence, principal at Moorhead High School, Blake is an outstanding choice for the recognition.
“Meagan is always willing to go above and beyond what is expected to meet the needs of her students,” Lawrence said.
Blake believes in providing students with a safe, caring, nurturing environment where they are excited to learn and grow.
“I strive to teach my students the skills they need to be as independent as possible once they graduate from high school,” she said. “I work closely with their families, outside agency members, and all of their school staff to develop an educational plan that is most appropriate for their needs. I believe in the importance of open communication and working to create positive relationships with not only my students, but also their families, caregivers, and the staff I work with each day.
Blake earned a degree in psychology from Concordia College and a developmental cognitive disability special education teaching degree from Minnesota State University Moorhead. She completed her master’s degree in special education and recently obtained special education director and principal licenses through MSUM.
Blake spent three years as an elementary DCD special education teacher in Detroit Lakes, Minn. She has been a DCD special education teacher at Moorhead High for the past eight years. Additionally, Blake has been the Moorhead High learner support services department chair for the last four years, and she is serving on the Moorhead High School Task Force.
“As a department chair Meagan is not only considered a leader in her department, but she is also a leader among our entire faculty and staff,” Lawrence said.
Blake has had the opportunity to be part of changes in the DCD area at Moorhead High, helping to create several classes that focus on the transition skill areas.
“I played a role in the development of an adapted arts class we now offer, and it has been incredible to observe the increased involvement of our students,” she said.
Blake continues to explore additional ways to get her students involved with their general education peers.
“Over the past few years, we’ve partnered with Key Club and Student Council to implement programs like Breakfast Buddies, a weekly program in which my students enjoy eating breakfast with classmates, and Chalk-a-Palooza, an art project that highlighted some amazing talents of our students,” Blake said.
Blake would like to believe that the impact she has left on her students is comparable to the one they have left on her.
“I strive to create a classroom where my students feel they belong and want to come and learn each day,” she said. “I work closely with my colleagues to ensure we are doing everything possible to provide a positive influence.”
Photo: During an adapted art class, Meagan Blake, Moorhead High learner support services teacher and this year’s Moorhead High Teacher of the Year, works with students as they learn about Monet’s impressionistic style of painting and practice fine motor skills.