Special Ed Teacher at Beaumont Receives National Award
The Council for Exceptional Children’s Division on Autism and Developmental Disabilities (DADD) has presented its 2023 Teacher of the Year award to Ann Katherine Griffen of Beaumont Middle School. She has taught students with autism, intellectual disability, and other developmental disabilities for over 20 years.
“The best part of my job is helping my students learn and grow as individuals, and working together with their families in reaching these goals,” said Griffen, who is in her seventh year at Beaumont, serving students with moderate and severe disabilities (MSD).
DADD, a professional organization and dedicated network, announced the award Jan. 19 during its annual conference in Clearwater, Florida. Griffen was unable to attend.
In addition to teaching, Griffen has worked on several research projects with partners from the University of Kentucky. Melinda Ault and Channon Horn of UK, who nominated her for the DADD award, highlighted Griffen’s emphasis on student engagement, program staff collaboration, and instructional assessment and planning. “We have collectively been working in the field of special education for 65 years, and in that time, neither of us have encountered a special education teacher on the caliber of Dr. Griffen,” they wrote.
Griffen earned a bachelor’s degree in MSD/Elementary Education, a master’s in Early Childhood Special Education, her Rank I in MSD, and a doctorate in Special Education (MSD). She also has a graduate certificate in Distance Learning – all from UK. Griffen has been with Fayette County Public Schools for 23 years.