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2023-24 Above & Beyond Awards recipient: Marti Biegler

Marti Biegler“Marti has a passion for inclusivity and accessibility for all students. Our students are set up for success in their life beyond high school based on Marti’s vision for providing students with real, hands-on learning experiences.” - Stephanie Batts, special education teacher at Jackson Middle School.

Through her work as the vocational skills teacher at Jackson Middle School, Marti Biegler has displayed her passion for inclusivity and accessibility for all students. For 19 years, Biegler has thought outside of the box to create unique learning experiences for students which has since grown beyond the walls of Jackson Middle School. 

In collaboration with a colleague, Biegler developed a plan for an in-house coffee shop run by special education students, and eight years later, the business is running strong and has become a staple for staff in the building. This allows students with diverse abilities to practice work and life skills in a real setting, taking orders, making coffee, delivering and practicing social skills through interaction with adults in the building. 

“She is so passionate about allowing students to be included in projects in class, while also giving them life skills necessary for their future,” Batts said. 

Recently, Biegler provided her students with the opportunity to create their own booth at the Women of Today Craft Fair held at Champlin Park High School. Students created items to sell at the craft fair and learned additional work skills including using sanders, drills, paint, hot glue guns and stencils when making various crafts. At the fair, students interacted with community members, made sales and kept inventory of all their products. 

“As a community volunteer for 28 years, I worked directly with young people from a variety of backgrounds,” Biegler said. “I was able to transfer these skills into my teaching and it allowed me to be more aware of and support the diversity my students brought into the classroom.”

Biegler consistently sacrifices her lunch and prep time, and dedicates time outside of work hours for her students. She can often be found enjoying lunch with students in her classroom, sharing stories and laughter or assisting students with their homework. 

“The elements of my teaching are not typical, but neither are my students,” Biegler said. “As I prepare to retire in June, I am so proud of the successful people they have become, and there are many successes.”

The 2024 Above & Beyond Awards ceremony to honor Biegler and 14 other exceptional employees will take place April 3 at the Educational Service Center (ESC).