So we meet again, fellow Get Smarters!  Today I write to you to talk about two of my passions and how I have been able to bring these areas of my life together for the good of others (and a little for myself too!).

Doing what I HEART!

love my careerThe career path that I have chosen has allowed me to learn and grow in many ways- some of which I may not even be aware of yet!  I have been a special education teacher for almost four years. Every day brings new challenges and priceless moments.  From the minute my first student arrives to school, to the second my last student jumps on the bus to go home, my day is consumed! I dive right in to interactions with my students’ needs, coordinating with fellow staff members, schedule changes, lesson plans, activities, parent meetings, and five million other things. (Aka my mind and body do not get a break!) But you know what?  I wouldn’t want any other job in the world!

I laugh, I cry, I can become frustrated and overwhelmed, I get to be silly and have fun, and I learn every day.  I don’t work at a job that I leave each day, go back to work the next morning and just pick up where I left off the day before.  I am constantly thinking about my students and how I can do more for them.  Not only do I care about their academic success, but also about their overall development as young people. I want to be someone who helps them grow into independent functional adults in our community.

Going the extra mile!

spartankate2Other ways that I promote the growth of my students, aside from academics, are through encouraging their social, emotional and physical development.  Back in September of 2013, I heard about a Spartan race for young people with special needs.  I asked the family of one of my former students at the time if their son would be interested in running in the race with me.  They were all for it!  Fast forward—my student and I ran the race, faced all of the challenges, and overcame many obstacles!  My student felt so proud of himself and even took many pictures afterwards showing off his muscles!

The special needs Spartan Race was co-designed specifically for individuals with intellectual or development disabilities by the founders of OMNES, an organization that is “the leader in adaptive and inclusive fitness and wellness events”.  Next month, on April 12th there will be a Special Needs Spartan Race at Citi Field in New York! (see details below!)

Currently, I’m rallying my school community to participate in the April 12th race. By participating, it will benefit the students by challenging them physically and mentally, building confidence and feeling included among racers of all backgrounds and abilities!

Being a part of the Get Smart Team has allowed me to share my commitment to service, leadership and making a difference with others (you!) through what I do on a daily basis to make this world a better place- one person and one day at a time.

Join in the fun!


This unique and inspiring event  is the perfect opportunity for young people with special needs, along with their families and teachers, to come together and feel supported by each other and the Spartan community!

Not only is this a great experience for the children, but it is an amazing opportunity for individuals who are looking to work with special needs children.  A person can get their fitness on and volunteer to partner up with a mini Spartan and mentor them as they take on the challenges of the race together!

I strongly encourage anyone who works with special needs kids or those who have someone in their life that would be interested in participating to sign up!

For more info. about the race AND to register click here.   *USE CODE “SPARTANUP” for a 25% off discount!

Be sure to Follow OMNES on Facebook to be updated about this and future races. Check out the video at the bottom of this page to hear more about the race from the founders of Omnes!

If you are someone who is making a difference out there – PLEASE TELL US!  Apply to write for Get Smart about your experiences, your passions, your world changing actions!  We are always reaching out for others to share their stories! To sign up to write for Get Smart Mentoring, click here!

I’ll be writing more about the big race as we get closer! I hope to see you at the race on April 12th!