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Haas selected as Rainbow’s top teacher

Maureen Haas has taught children with special needs for 20 years. To recognize her work, Haas was selected as Teacher of the Year at Rainbow Elementary School.

Her hometown is Indianapolis, Ind., “which makes me a huge Colts fan. I graduated from Indiana University with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and special education,” Haas said. She earned a master’s degree in special education from Indiana Wesleyan University.

“All of my students have a special place in my heart. I’ve been so blessed to impact their lives with my teaching and doubly blessed to experience their amazing unconditional acceptance of everyone,” Haas said.

She views the children as the best part of her job. “They teach me lessons every day about perseverance, acceptance, kindness and overcoming adversity,” Haas said. “Every day is new with opportunities to problem solve, encourage, inspire and put my sense of humor to work.”

Since 2006, Haas has worked as a developmental disabilities teacher at Rainbow. She has served as a Special Olympics coach and with the literacy and math leadership teams.

Before moving to Madison, Haas worked as a special services teacher at Lester B. Sommer Elementary School in Crawfordsville, Ind. for six years. From 1997 to 1999, she was preschool director of Bethany Lutheran Preschool in Illinois.

Haas worked as a resource teacher at St. Matthew School in Indianapolis, where she designed and implemented the program. Other teaching assignments were Bath (Ohio) Middle School with seventh- and eighth-graders and Indianapolis Public Schools with students in grades 1-6.

Haas has been successful in creating multi-sensory, brain-based lesson plans for multiple levels of children. These energetic lesson plans support academic standards for the school.

“I’m dedicated to finding new ways to make learning a positive experience for my students and to building foundations for lifelong learning,” Haas said.

Her husband Patrick is director of the Chemical Demilitarization Directorate for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Their daughter Amanda is a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Daughter Emily currently is enrolled in college.

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