Courtney Samuelson is a special education teacher at Ledgewood Elementary School in Roscoe. For the past 11 years, she has been brightening those halls.
"She brings so much life to our building," said 1st grade teacher Katherine Koehler. "If you ever need a laugh you go find Courtney. She's always joyful and excited."
A special education teacher, her students have a wide variety of needs from autism to down syndrome.
Her class is a place where students feel welcome.
"They're really cool kids who deserve to be honored and respected and looked at like any other student," said Samuelson. "We give them that here."
"She has high expectations and the kids meet those expectations," said Koehler. "And she shows them a lot of love and kindness. So she's got the best mix of everything to be a successful teacher."
It's little strides each day that make the big moments possible down the road for these students.
"I'ts when a year from now they do something and their mom or dad comes back and says, 'you wont believe what they did at home!' said Samuelson. "We had one student recently who said he said daddy for the first time. How great to be a part of that journey."
It's success she has been bringing to students and families for years.