#MNPSVoices: Vickie Everson, Exceptional Education Teacher at Big Picture High School

Vickie Everson will never forget working at an internship in Atlanta shadowing a social worker. At one of their visits, she saw a baby lying in a crib. The child was just like others in the room – the only difference – the child was unable to vocalize due to a disability.

Everson shelfed her desire to become a social worker and decided to work with children with special needs as an exceptional education teacher. In this role, she is able to help children who need extra support. The student breakthroughs are among the most rewarding parts of her job.

“I enjoy working with these kids, learning their personalities and especially seeing the light go off when they finally understand something,” Everson said. “I want them to have success when all their lives they’ve worked extra hard to learn.”

Everson’s job as an exceptional education teacher at Big Picture High School involves helping children with varying levels of challenges to overcome. She helps each child to be successful in their own way. She has found success, especially with students who are frustrated or are told they cannot do something, by simply letting them vent. From there, they work together, and make a plan to accomplish goals and move past the frustration.

“Everyone needs help one time or another; it is not just special needs students,” Everson said. “We just need to make ourselves available to listen.”

After 35 years of teaching exceptional education, Everson plans to retire this year. First on her to-do list is making the 20-plus hour flight to the coast of Australia to see her son and his family. Everson also has two daughters, one of whom teaches in Metro Schools, that she looks forward to spending time with. Also on her list: gardening, reading, horseback riding and traveling.

“I am going to miss the students the most,” Everson said. “And I have some good friends here at Big Picture that I hope we can stay in touch.”

Everson will be missed by her Big Picture High School family.

“Vickie is dependable and always efficient. Her daily work with our students who receive Exceptional Education services is selfless,” said Big Picture High School Principal, Dr. Brenda Diaz. “She always makes sure we are in 100 percent compliance as it relates to our students. Her decision to retire will definitely leave a huge void on our team.”