Katie Bodily, Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind

Dec 30, 2021, 5:37 PM | Updated: Jan 20, 2022, 4:26 pm

“Katie works with all types of students who are Deaf and some of them have disabilities such Autism, blindness, and Down Syndrome. She teaches her students in all content areas: reading, writing, math, science, social studies, social skills and also teaches them American Sign Language. Katie is a language model for her students. Some students come into her class and have very minimal language skills. She makes videos for her students and their families so that they can practice ASL at home. She has made a years worth of online activities to fit with the Utah State Core Standards and the different curriculums used in the school. The activities cover literacy, math, science, and social studies. This helps students who are in rural areas and/or have been impacted by COVID-19. She also teaches social and emotional learning to the students as it has never been more important since the pandemic. Katie loves to do yoga with her students every morning when they arrive at school. She also has an area in her classroom where students can go when they need to calm down or need a break. Many people have commented about the positive environment of Katie’s classroom. Staff members and administrators have said it feels like home or a family in her classroom because Katie is so positive and has such good relationships with her students. Katie always has students who have previously been in her class, even years later, come back and visit. Katie also teaches the students how to self advocate. Her students can now tell whoever is teaching when they can’t see, if someone hurt their feelings, if they need something repeated, or if they need to take a break. Katie collaborates well with other staff members as well as with people in the community. Katie has mentored and had many interns in her class throughout the years. Katie also puts time in to help students outside of the classroom. She has worked for years in the school’s reading clinic that happens after school to tutor all ages of students. Katie is constantly answering emails, texts, and phone calls from parents and colleagues even after contract hours. However, Katie doesn’t just worry about her student’s academics. If her student’s family needs help, she makes sure she goes through the proper avenues through the school and the Utah Food Bank to make sure they have food at home. Katie is also the Vice President for the Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind Education Association. Katie spends hours each month in meetings and trainings to further her education and to be the best teacher for her students and support for other teachers at the school. Katie realizes that if the teachers needs are met and it is a safe work environment then the teachers are better able to serve the students. Katie puts her heart and soul into her teaching career, the community and into everything she does.”

Nominated by Justin Bodily.

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