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Nagle selected Columbia’s Teacher of the Year

Julia Nagle takes a gleeful jump on the golf course. She is Columbia's Teacher of the Year. CONTRIBUTED
Julia Nagle takes a gleeful jump on the golf course. She is Columbia’s Teacher of the Year. CONTRIBUTED

MADISON – Julia Nagle has the distinction as Columbia Elementary School’s Teacher of the Year.

Nagle works with children in K-3 as inclusion special education teacher in small-group and/or one-on-one instruction in the general education or resource room setting. “Together, we work on building up deficit areas while (simultaneously) maintaining skills previously mastered,” she said.

Students’ Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) guide Nagle’s teaching. As each student’s case manager, Nagle is responsible to provide services, along with annual testing; completing observations and other assessments; gathering/compiling input from parents, teachers and students; and interpreting results for IEP team.

“It takes a team to help a student be successful,” Nagle said.

“In truth, my students continuously inspire me by never giving up, always giving their best and achieving their goals,” Nagle said. She is joyful when a girl overcomes anxieties and now self-advocates, a boy overcomes having a two-grade deficient in reading to no longer need help and her entire group earns the Free-Day Friday Bash.

Her job’s major reward involves relationships with students, parents and co-workers. “I have the privilege of working with my students several years and … build trust and rapport,” Nagle said.

Working with retired teacher Margaret Petty was Nagle’s honor. “She displayed … passion for her career, above and beyond any job requirement. She not only taught me to manage all expectations with being a special education teacher, she modeled compassion, patience and dedication.”

“Just as she taught all of her students, Margaret Petty also instilled in me the motto ‘Work hard and always do your best.’ This is something I have and will continue to pass on to my students,” Nagle said.

At the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Nagle earned a bachelor’s degree with dual certification in elementary education and collaborative education.

In her first year of teaching, Nagle’s time was divided between Columbia and Heritage elementary. She has worked full time at Columbia for three years.

“The best teams put their students’ needs first. Witnessing this act … encourages me to focus on what truly matters amidst all the other expectations,” Nagle said.

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