Position: Sixth Grade Special Education Teacher
School: Palmyra-Macedon Middle School
School District: Palmyra-Macedon Central School District
City, State: Palmyra, New York
About the Nominee: Jamie Heagney was nominated by her principal, Darcy Smith. Mrs. Heagney has been the fuel that has powered a climate-changing student leadership initiative at Palmyra-Macedon Middle School. She created a student Lighthouse Leaders team that has played a pivotal role in teaching Covey's Habits to faculty, staff and students. Covey’s Habits form the foundation of the school's character education program. These student leaders facilitate monthly lessons for their peers, teaching them to, for example, “be proactive” and to “begin with the end in mind.”
Mrs. Heagney is resourceful and motivated. She secured two grants for the middle school to help fund training and materials for the Lighthouse Leaders program. She explored state leadership conference opportunities available to students and organized fundraisers to help finance participation. Additionally, she has urged her district's principals to display their vision to “inspire tomorrow’s leaders” throughout the building. This has been accomplished through initiatives such as the creation of a hand-painted Habits tree, quotations selected by faculty posted above their classroom or office doors, hallway street signs (ex: Win Win Way) and the creation of a leadership lounge for student meetings and activities.
Mrs. Heagney is a sixth grade special education teacher and a mother of four. She demonstrates leadership as an advisor to and facilitator of numerous endeavors at the middle school. She is the advisor for the school store, co-advisor of the student mentoring program and Families as Readers program, serves as the Middle School DASA Coordinator and on the Pal-Mac Way Committee, and assists the main office when the school principals are out of the building.
Mrs. Heagney couples creativity, hard work and risk-taking to dream big! Her approach has been one of undaunted enthusiasm. She is a role model for students and staff. Pal-Mac is extremely fortunate to have Mrs. Heagney on their team; she is a leader who makes great things happen!