KENS 5 is proud to begin our 15th year recognizing outstanding teachers with our ExCEL Award.
Our first winner is a Jon Wert, a Life Skills teacher at Curington Elementary in the Boerne Independent School District.
Each of Jon Wert's students at Curington Elementary has a different disability, but his goal for all is the same.
"I want each child to build as much independence as possible. I want to make sure everyone understands the beauty and the ability of these children. Simply because there's a disability, there's so much value there in a child. To be part of their journey as they become adults and independent is profound," said Wert
He celebrates every child's success and lets these Special Education students know they are each very special.
"He's awesome!" said student Delfino Perez.
Wert is passionate and committed to spending his career helping these students.
"The greatest opportunity to teach in education is to work with children diagnosed with a variety of disability," said Wert.
This father of two little boys, ages 2 and 5, wants to be an advocate for children with special needs.
"There needs to be a voice to support the family and a voice for the child," said Wert.
He teaches academics and life skills such as cooking and yoga, which is a favorite.
"I like yoga," said student Dillon Valadez with a big smile on his face.
Wert also wants to educate those beyond the classroom.
"Our goal is to break through that cloud of misunderstanding when the child doesn't have the ability to speak or the child doesn't have mobility. For everyone to realize that just because of a diagnoses or a disability, it doesn't have to stop here. It can explode to achievement high and beyond. When we see that for our families and do that for our children that's high fives, that's chest bumps, that's touchdown dances."