SDHS Teacher Wins Retired Teachers’ Grant
Press release from Dearborn County Retired Teachers Association
Pictured are Etta Bostwick; Betty Bourquein, Grant/Award Chair; Kim Prager-Taylor, Grant/Award winner, Mary Bradley, Ellie Brinkman.
(Aurora, Ind.) – Kim Pragar-Taylor, special education teacher at South Dearborn High School, has been selected as the 2012-2013 Dearborn County Retired Teachers’ grant/award winner.
Selection of the annual winner is based on an application process in which all applicants are considered anonymously by the Educator Grant/Award Committee. The top two or three candidates’ projects are then presented without any information to indicate candidate or school to the retired teachers in attendance at their April social. Any active Dearborn County teacher is eligible to apply for the grant/award. An administrator or colleague can also nominate a teacher for special recognition.
Pragar-Taylor was nominated by a colleague, Leslie Sutherlin. Sutherlin has a special needs child and has seen first-hand the effect that the teacher has on her student.
Pragar-Taylor spoke to the group at its June get-together about how much the grant will mean to her and her special education high school students. With the $500 grant money, she will purchase items for her classroom’s adaptive physical education classes. Because of physical limitations caused by medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and cerebral policy, the students are limited and excluded from regular physical education classes. However, the one activity what her students really seem to enjoy and can do regardless of their physical limitations is to play on the Wii. Although Pragar-Taylor already has one Wii game console for the classroom, she is limited to one controller and one game, Wii Sports. With the grant money, more game controllers, more games such as Just Dance, a balance board, and other equipment will be purchased.
Rob Moorhead, Principal at South Dearborn High School, surprised Pragar-Taylor with his appearance at the Dearborn County Retired Teachers’ June social. He spoke of the work that this very special teacher does, the activities which Pragar-Taylor volunteers her time, and the effect the grant/award will have on the special education program. Because of funding cuts, the students whom Pragar-Taylor teaches, money for a lifeguard at the pool is no longer available for these physically-challenged students. Additionally, these students are unable to participate in regular physical education classes. Moorhead spoke about how one student in particular had challenged and beaten him in a session of Guitar Hero on the last day of school this past year. The student has talked of another challenge to the principal in the new school year. Pride in the success of the students was evident in both his and Pragar-Taylors’ talks about the program.
As are most active teachers and parents, Pragar-Taylor is a very busy lady. The wife of Mark Taylor, a crew leader in the Heavy Maintenance Machine Shop at the Metropolitan Sewer District, she has two children, eleven year old Margo, a sixth grader at Milan Middle School, and Graden, a nine year old fourth grader at Milan Elementary.
Having graduated from Taylor High School, North Bend, OH, Pragar-Taylor earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in art education in 1990 from the University of Cincinnati. She became a substitute teacher a Southwest Local School District and Three Rivers Local School District for three years, during which time she worked for Montfort Heights’ resident group home, a group home for young adults with cognitive and physical disabilities.
In 1994 Pragar-Taylor received her Master of Education degree again from the University of Cincinnati whereupon she began teaching the Moderate Cognitive Disabilities classes at South Dearborn High School, where she has remained for the last eighteen years.
In 1998 Pragar-Taylor was recognized by the school for working with South Dearborn’s future leaders. She has been a co-director for South Dearborn’s Dinner Theater project for the past sixteen years, the proceeds of which go to support the South Dearborn Incentive program. Additionally, she has been a co-director for South Dearborn’s fall drama production of Sweeny Todd and a Children’s Theater production.
For the last three summers, Pragar-Taylor has worked with the Arc of Dearborn County’s Life Skills Summer Camp.
Applications for the grant-award are available at the respective schools during the month of January. For additional information, please call 812-934-4454.