GREENBURGH, N.Y. – With tears in her eyes, Liz Watson stood to accept the Extra Mile Teacher Recognition Award. The audience applauded her accomplishment and stood up out of respect for her hard work and dedication to the children. Nearly crying, she thanked everyone who extended gratitude her way.
"This award is for someone who we feel has walked the extra mile in the interest of children," said Ron Smalls, the Greenburgh Central 7 superintendent, at a recent board of education meeting.
Watson, a parent and special education teacher at Highview, was recognized for her outstanding dedication to her students and for going "above and beyond" in their interest. She was nominated by another parent whose son is autistic. The child only eats through liquid form and did not have his bottle. Watson drove to the child's house to get the bottle so that he would have his lunch.
"Let me say this, because I truly believe this," said Smalls, "it takes special people to work with children with special needs. And I take my hat off to them."
Smalls handed Watson a plaque that read: "You went the extra mile. Your daily walk alongside children has taught them how to walk and, by your example, where to walk. Your footprints will be stepping stones to their future."
Watson was the first of three Extra Mile winners honored throughout the year. Nominations are submitted to the board of education, with the committee deciding the final winner.