Position: Intellectual Disabilities Teacher School: Chantilly High School
School District: Fairfax County Public Schools
City, State: Chantilly, Virginia
About the Nominee: Katy Smallwood was nominated by a family member, Mary Fisher.
Ms. Smallwood could have chosen any path. Beautiful, athletic, smart, funny and encouraging, she pursued a career as an intellectual disabilities teacher. Ms. Smallwood has been teaching for seven years and is in her third year at Chantilly High School. She is well-educated, passionate and committed to the rights of individuals with disabilities, especially the right to learn. A single parent of two children with special abilities, Ms. Smallwood juggles her responsibility with humor and focus. A thyroid cancer survivor, she's a champion of practicing a healthy lifestyle. Reviewed by her supervisors as highly effective, Ms. Smallwood's reviews cite her as a source of her department being "as strong as it has ever been." "She has a highly effective teaching repertoire and can capture and hold students' attention at any time. Ms. Smallwood shows warmth, caring, respect and fairness for all students and staff, and ensures these values are shared among all stakeholders. Additionally, she has her personal trainer certification. In her first figure competition, she swept every category and won the "all around" 35 and over group.