Early childhood special education teacher Jillian Sweeney was recognized for earning the 2020-2021 Missouri Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (MACTE) Outstanding Beginning Teacher Award. The surprise presentation came from Dr. Jessica Leonard and Dr. Joy Voss from Saint Louis University School of Education during a staff professional development meeting on Jan. 15.
Voss said early childhood director Dr. Mary Krekeler wrote some of nicest words about Sweeney who was the school’s virtual special education teacher last semester.
“Her knowledge of child development and appropriate practices and her skill creating engaging learning experiences, building positive relationships and managing behavior exceeds her experience,” Krekeler wrote in her letter of support.
Sweeney was named a recipient of other awards during her time as a student at SLU.
“That kind of tells you what the faculty thought of her then and knew she would be an aspiring leader in the field and she's actually proved it already,” Voss said.
Sweeeny said it was exciting to see them come into her room and having her sister, early childhood occupational therapist Emma McGlynn, there made it even more special. Their mom and brother attended the announcement via FaceTime.