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Elyse Topp named Monticello Teacher of the Month

Name: Elyse Topp

Building: Monticello Middle School

Years teaching in Monticello: 21

Elyse Topp Tell us a little about yourself?
I am a special education teacher working with students in the DCD (developmental cognitive disabilities) centerbased program at Monticello Middle School.
I have been happily married to my husband, Bob, for 27 years. We have three grown sons and two grandchildren with one more on the way.
I love spending time with my family at the cabin doing anything outdoors. I am happiest out in the middle of the lake or deep in a forest.

Why did you choose the teaching profession?
I chose teaching simply because I love working with kids.
I chose special education because of my grandmother. My uncle was disabled and my grandmother worked tirelessly to find a public school that would allow him to enroll. Eventually she found a private school that was started by Louise Fraser in her home. Mrs. Fraser changed his life. She offered opportunities to special needs students that were unheard of at that time. I’m so proud that our students today have the resources needed to fulfill their potential.

What is the best thing about teaching in Monticello?
The Monticello School District and Sherburne Northern Wright Special Education Cooperative have an amazing team of teachers, support staff, paraprofessionals and administration. I feel so fortunate to be a part of this impressive group . The staff at Monticello Middle School are so supportive and accommodating for our students.

What is your proudest moment as a teacher?
I work with students that have multiple disabilities. It is so rewarding to see the students grow and accomplish things that people have said they would never be able to do. To be able to watch the kids become more and more independent and grow into young adults is inspiring.

What advice would you give a young adult who is thinking about a teaching career?
If someone is thinking of going into the teaching field, I would say to try special education. The students are amazing people with unique gifts to share with the world.