Live’s Top Teacher Week: Anne Marie Rooney From Ward Elementary
Since Monday, Live’s Top Teacher Week has been showcasing some of the country’s most incredible teachers. Wednesday was no exception when Anne Marie Rooney was introduced to the world. Anne Marie is a dedicated special education teacher at Ward Elementary School in New Rochelle, New York. Here’s more on her story.
Anne Marie Rooney teaches special needs children on the kindergarten and first grade grade levels. She was glad that Live’s cameras stopped by in the springtime, because in the fall, her classroom looks a lot different. Through her patience and dedication, Anne Marie transforms her children from chaotic to calm throughout the course of a school year.
This was certainly the case for Timothy, age seven, who was diagnosed with autism at 18-months-old. Prior to Mrs. Rooney, Timothy was a violent
child who couldn’t read, write or even be restrained. He threw chairs, desks and did whatever he could to act out in school, which led to his leaving three different schools in three years.
Now, Timothy is a very different child. Not only can he read and write, but he’s sweet, affectionate, and loves to learn. Timothy’s father called Mrs. Rooney “an angel” and credited her work for transforming his son. Other parents agreed that Mrs. Rooney has had the same effect on their children, including one mother whose son was now grown up and thriving in college.
“I see through their behaviors, right to the heart of them,” Anne Marie explained. Timothy’s father read an extremely moving poem that his son wrote about Mrs. Rooney. Not only was the poem a complete tear-jerker, but it was extremely well-written and proves just how far Timothy has come thanks to Mrs. Rooney. The poem ended with Timothy crediting Mrs. Rooney for turning him into “a real boy.”
Anne Marie Rooney: New Backyard Courtesy Of Lowe’s
Everyone in the studio became emotional over Anne Marie’s story, including Kelly and Michael. As a thank you for her outstanding work as an educator, she received a Top Teacher trophy, as well as a new playground for her school courtesy of GameTime. Plus, Mrs. Rooney received a brand new backyard for her own home courtesy of Lowe’s.