Ider special-needs teacher has been giving her all for 30 years

IDER, Ala. (WHNT) – Our Tools for Teachers honor this week , along with 319 dollars to spend in her classroom, goes to Kim Keena, a special needs teacher at Ider High School.  You may see several familiar faces in this week’s story. We featured one of Ms. Keena’s students, Taylor Mitchell, when Taylor was crowned homecoming queen last September.

Watch Taylor’s crowning moment: ‘A Dream Come True’: Ider Student With Special Needs Gets Crowned Homecoming Queen

Taylor’s mother, Rita Mitchell, says her daughter’s moment was made even more special by the hard work of Ms. Keena and her colleagues.

“Mrs. Keena and Ms. Haas went above and beyond to make sure that my daughter and the other special needs student that was on the court had everything they needed to make this a special night for them,” Mitchell told us in her nomination email.

Mitchell tells us that it’s a great comfort knowing she leaves her daughter in the hands of a teacher with such a huge heart for kids with special needs.

“You have no idea what it’s like to have to leave your child that is totally dependent on somebody else to meet every need they have, and to be able to have a teacher that you can trust your child to… there’s no words to explain it,” Mitchell says.

Ms. Keena, who has been teaching special needs for her entire 30 year career, says she draws her inspiration from the strength of her students and the triumphant feeling that comes from witnessing them fight to overcome their obstacles.

“That’s what keeps me going. I mean… these kids… I get up every morning and I can’t wait to come and see them,” Keena said with a loving smile.

If you know a worthy teacher, coach, principal, or aide, tell us about them through the Tools for Teachers nomination form.

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