2020 #WeAreDPS Beginning Teacher of the Year | Martha Figuerado
The DPS Beginning Teacher of the Year award recognizes the effort new teachers put in to make their first years of teaching successful. Congratulations to our 2020 award recipient, Martha Figuerado. Figuerado is a K-2nd EC teacher at Pearsontown Elementary where she works with students with autism. She began teaching at Pearsontown in July 2019.
Figuerado received her undergraduate degree from Appalachian State University where she majored in Special Education Disorders. She went on to earn a Master’s in Education specializing in Special Education/Autism Spectrum from the University of Missouri.
Pearsontown’s principal Rodriguez Teal said, “Mrs. Figuerado has totally changed the game for how we educate our students with autism. Her energy, love, and compassion towards her students is unsurpassed, and her strategic willingness to share and expose her students to the PandaNation has garnered a much-needed appreciation and respect for the job she does. I am super excited that she was chosen for this honor and could not think of anyone more appropriate to be deemed the Beginning Teacher of the Year!”
Figuerado said, “As special education teachers, we are called to celebrate neurodiversity by recognizing how our students perceive the world, acknowledging their experiences, and adapting our instruction to build skills and competence. When educators adopt this perspective, we become sources of empathy, trust, and advocacy for all students.”
We are extremely proud of Martha Figuerado’s commitment to education and her passion for our #WeAreDPS students. We are excited to recognize her as the 2020 DPS Beginning Teacher of the Year. Special thanks also go to the DPS Foundation, which has generously donated gift cards to each of the finalists and the winner.