Walking through the halls of O’Dea Core Knowledge School, you know there is something different … something special about the community. The hallways are sprinkled with blue puzzle pieces. On the puzzle pieces are messages of encouragement written by the small hands that fill the school. To the students and staff of O’Dea Elementary, autism is a word free of any stigma. It is a word that may be used to help understand and appreciate their peer sitting at their table or a friend from the playground. Odea Elementary is a place that has a smile around every corner. In the classroom of Megan Conahan, there are an abundance of smiles! “Megan is a bright ball of light at O’Dea! She brings such a level of enthusiasm and love to her position working with our children with autism. There are days that can be very challenging, yet Megan continues to bring positive energy to her work. ” Says O’Dea principal Laurie Corso.
Here is Megan Conahan’s story
“My background as a special education autism teacher started 6 years ago when I applied at O’Dea after subbing there several times. The team felt I would be a great fit and I felt that I had finally found my calling in life! I have been in the same classroom ever since and I absolutely love this population of students and know that this is where I am supposed to be! O’Dea is amazing and anyone who has worked at O’Dea will tell you that nothing compares! It is a one of a kind environment with an incredible climate and culture led by an outstanding leader, Principal Laurie Corso. The way Ms. Corso embeds our autism program within our school culture, is thoughtful, creative and purposeful. This school is amazing because of our sense for community and motto that each student is all of our students!
My educational background started with working for B.A.S.E. Camp for 8 years while attending school at UNC to become a teacher! I originally earned my bachelors in general education K-5 and my masters after that in special education. Working with students with severe needs autism while subbing, I knew that my heart and spirit were with these students specifically. This was the career path that I had always dreamed of having! I continue to love my students and the job I do each day and know that my choice to work in special education, was the most meaningful life decision I have made!
My interests are always changing and evolving. I am an avid crafts person and I absolutely love to make jewelry, especially fused glass jewelry. Making anything out of fused glass is my passion and is a hobby I do a lot in the summer to enjoy my time off with my family. I love to make plates, spoon rests, rings, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, jewels, beaded jewelry, holiday crafts, etc….. I enjoy spending time with my daughter and relaxing together at home with our little family! My daughter and I absolutely love to swim together and it is amazing to see her passion for water develop just like her mommy has always enjoyed!
My favorite part of my job is getting to work with the same students, every single year. I always say that I am the lucky teacher because I get these students year after year after year, sometime for 6 years even. I get to develop a rapport with these students on a completely different level than other teachers have the opportunity to develop! I also am lucky in the fact that I get to develop close relationships with the parents of my students because I work alongside them each year that I have their student in my class. I value the parents’ input and involvement in their students’ educational evolution and see the parents as a huge part of the team as a whole. The parents are the ones who know their child the best and getting their input and ideas in educational decisions moving forward is key to keeping the value of the whole child increasing positively!”
This outstanding woman exemplifies the care and commitment O’Dea Core Knowledge Elementary has for their students.
Poudre School District Integrated Services Director: Sarah Belleau 2407 Laporte Avenue, Fort Collins, CO 80521