Sep. 4, 2013
If you ask young children what they want to be when they grow up, you will get a smorgasbord of interesting and sometimes humorous responses. Typical responses include, astronaut, ballerina, superhero, or firefighter. Meg Kamman was much more focused in her thinking: “I knew I wanted to be a teacher since first grade.” Growing up, Meg’s father frequently worked with children with disabilities. Through experiences with her father, she was able to see the impact one person could make on a child’s life. Knowing she could help people who were struggling led Meg into a career dedicated to assisting students with disabilities.
After graduating college, Meg began her career teaching children with learning disabilities at a high poverty elementary school. Helping struggling readers learn became her new passion. After teaching for several years, Meg began her graduate degree in leadership thinking she might consider a role as a school administrator. She also thought it would be a good idea to have experience at the secondary level and took a position at a rural 6-12 school. While there were no hugs and presents of coloring pages, teaching secondary students with disabilities was just as rewarding. When an opportunity to work with teachers was presented, Meg hesitated to leave the classroom, but recognized the potential to make a greater impact on struggling students and accepted. She immediately loved helping beginning teachers, which prompted her to pursue her PhD and eventually serve as the project coordinator for the CEEDAR Center.
When asked about the personal influences that helped her along this path, Meg was quick to cite her robust support system of family and friends. She explained, “In whatever I do, I strive to work hard and do my best. I am very fortunate to have friends and family who have encouraged me to be a great mom, a great wife, and a great teacher educator. Whatever my ambitions, this solid group of people encourages excellence.”
Meg is always on the go. This can be seen in her professional life as well as with her family. Whether it’s waking up before dawn to get in a 20-mile bike ride or bringing her two daughters, Josie and Anna, into the office on the weekends while they post original artwork on the bulletin board, Meg is always moving. Meg is even on the go with her family. She and her husband Buddy have the goal of traveling with their daughters to all 50 states.
When asked who she looks up to, Meg was quick to answer her husband, who is a secondary school administrator. She claims, “He is able to work with any type of person and tackle challenging situations head-on without being jarred. He’s an amazing person and administrator.” She also explains that her mom is “an extremely kind person who spends all of her time helping other people.” Meg’s mother placed in Meg’s heart a desire to help others. Since Meg loves helping struggling students and her grant positions don’t afford time to teach frequently, she can often be seen tutoring struggling student-athletes to maintain some “kid contact”. Meg says, “Athletes with learning disabilities have to tackle a tremendous college course-load as well as the rigors of collegiate athletics. It can be extremely difficult take on so much at once.” Meg assists student athletes by patiently developing study habits and commitment in the classroom so they can enjoy success on and off the field, the court, or the track. Whether it’s working with elementary school students, new teachers or athletes, Meg is right at home at the CEEDAR Center, working to make a difference for students with disabilities.