PLAINFIELD – Kelsey Miller teaches special needs children – particularly those with autism – at District 202’s preschool, which is named for Bonnie McBeth, District 202’s first kindergarten teacher.
She is also the winner of the 2017 Bonnie McBeth Early Learning Scholarship. Miller, who has taught at Bonnie McBeth for six years, will use the $1,500 prize to complete graduate-level work focusing on teaching autistic early learners.
The Plainfield Foundation for Excellence – District 202’s private fundraising organization – administers the McBeth scholarship on behalf of McBeth’s family.
McBeth was District 202’s first kindergarten teacher in 1951. She taught kindergarten and reading and also worked as a reading specialist during her 38-year education career.
She created and endowed the annual scholarship in 2007 to support early learning teachers taking graduate-level course work in early childhood education. McBeth passed away in 2014.
Miller is completing her first semester at Ball State University. She is a Project LEAP teacher at the Bonnie McBeth Early Learning Center. Project LEAP is a self-contained early childhood program focusing on children who need more intensive instruction.
She has also volunteered at Camp SOAR (Special Outdoor Adaptive Recreation) every summer since 2005. Camp SOAR is an overnight summer camp for children and teens with moderate to severe special needs.