Students with special needs can often get left behind in school if no one steps up to help.
Something as small as making sure a student can see the board well enough or hear a teacher clearly can make the difference between success and failure. That’s where Colleen Tropea is dedicated to giving her students the leg up.
“I was born deaf so I wear implants and stuff and sometimes there’s problems so I just ask her for help,” student Alyssa Sayas said.
There are big issues Smith Middle School students are facing.
“If I have trouble seeing things or trouble with my schedule or something being too hard for me she’s always there to help me and make me better,” Student Rebekah Batu said.
But in Mrs. Tropea’s office, students have someone fighting for their success.
“She’s like the one person I can always go to for help,” Sayas said.
Mrs. Tropea is a resource room special education teacher at the Troy school spending three years with her students and making sure they’re ready to tackle high school.
“One of the most important things is advocating for yourself, I think that that is one of the things that is so important because we all have something that we’re not good at or we’re not strong at,” Tropea said. “It’s so important to advocate for yourself and be the best that you can be and give 110% all the time.”
Her students say despite their differences, Mrs. Tropea always pushes them to be their very best.
“Thank you so much for everything you’ve done, I may act like sometimes it’s not that big of deal but it really is, it means a lot,” Batu said.
Which is exactly what Mrs. Tropea hopes to leave each student knowing.
“I hope they take how much they really are cared for here by all staff,” she said.
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