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  Home > Parents > Special Education Parents > 2008 Make a Difference Award Winners

Special Education Parents

bullet  2012 Make a Difference Award Winners

Five educators won the Special Education Make a Difference Award from the Macomb County’s Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) in 2010. These awards are especially meaningful because students and their parents nominated their favorite educators for the honor.


This year's winners are:

  1. Kathleen Blacker, Wilde Elementary AI Program, MISD

  2. Cindy Bowman, Naldrett Elementary, Anchor Bay Schools

  3. Bridget Murawski, Salk Elementary, Fraser Schools

  4. Mary Pelgus, Glen Peters School, MISD

  5. Theresa Waite, Roberts Elementary, Utica Community Schools


CONGRATULATIONS to this year's winners

from the
Macomb County Parent Advisory Committee


Macomb Intermediate Schools
Wilde Elementary AI Program


Kathleen Blacker has always put her heart and soul into her students, career and family. She grew up in Fraser, graduated from Central Michigan University in Special Education and started teaching for Huron Intermediate Schools in 1979.She came to the MISD in 2000 and earned her endorsement Autism Spectrum Disorders from Western Michigan in 1993. Kathi completed her Masters Degree in Teacher Leadership and is applying these skills in the Autism Program at Wilde Elementary.Through the years, she has taught all ages of children with special needs. For the past 12 years, she has taught in classrooms for the youngest students with autism, 3 to 5-year olds, and is recognized as an expert in her field.  She is a dedicated professional who truly “makes a difference” in the lives of her students and their families.

Anchor Bay Schools
Naldrett Elementary School


Cindy Bowman is a talented special educator who gives 100% of herself to her special needs students. She has worked in the Anchor Bay School District  for 18 years as both a teacher of the cognitively-impaired, and now with 3-5 year olds. She is very involved with Special Olympics and has attended the Michigan Winter Games for 20 years. She has tutored children after her school day and developed intervention strategies and supports which have helped her students reach towards their natural potential. Cindy truly "makes a difference" in the lives of her students.

Fraser Schools
Salk Elementary School

Bridget Murawski has a degree in Early Childhood from Central Michigan and a Master’s in Special Education with emphasis in CI from Wayne State University.  Bridget is in her 8th year as a Special Education Teacher at Salk Elementary in Fraser Schools. She approaches each moment with a “Nothing-we-can’t-handle” attitude. This attitude is visible in Bridget’s actions and persistence to ensure each child’s needs are met. She has created a classroom environment in which each day is uniquely planned to meet the learner where they are and to advance toward successful achievement. Bridget invests a great deal of energy in everything she does with her collaboration among teachers and parents, a willingness to learn through her professional development, and the leadership to share this learning with others. .

Macomb Intermediate Schools
Glen Peteres School


Mary Pelgus  brings new meaning to the words "enthusiasm" and "commitment" for teaching.  Even after 34 years working with Severely Multiply Impaired (SXI) students, Mary enters the classroom each day with incredible positive energy.  This energy is contagious with her students and co-workers.  Mary has a "never say never" approach to education. She uses that approach and pairs it with her natural creativity to challenge and motivate her students.Some of the words used by parents of her students to describe Mary would include, "genuine, caring, empathetic & loving." All of these words represent the love and commitment Mary feels for teaching.  The qualities mentioned truly help Mary "Make a Difference" every day.

Utica Community Schools
Roberts Elementary


Theresa Waite is a dedicated educator who has been teaching children with special needs in Utica Community Schools since 1994.  She spent the first ten years of her career teaching in a self-contained program for young children with cognitive impairments, first at Flickinger and then Dresden Elementary.  As much as she loved this work, Theresa decided to seek out a new challenge and for the next five years taught in the Roberts Elementary Learning Center (resource program). Now for the past three years, she has taught in the CORE program for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder where she is helping students make the kind of academic and social progress their parents only dreamed would be possible.  Theresa speaks proudly of her students and how much they have learned….and how much she has learned from them.  She is truly a talented, skilled, and compassionate teacher.


To return to the Macomb PAC web site, click here.



  • Thomas Koepke, Ph.D.
    Special Education Management Services

  • PAC Hotline
    (586) 226-4587
  • Monika DeLuca
    Administrative Assistant
    Special Education Management Services

    (586) 228-3458
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