When McHenry Community High School special education Instructor Madison Schroth was starting up a new club called Warrior Buddies six years ago, she envisioned a group that could be a bridge for all students to learn and grow together.
And that it has. In the last few years, the club has hosted a variety of outings, parties and public campaigns, bringing together all students. Most notably, the group sponsors an annual “Spread the Word to End the Word” and “Spread the Word: Inclusion” campaigns at both buildings, but primarily at Upper Campus where special programs are based.
“It’s definitely turned into what I hoped it would be. Now we just want to get more kids involved,” Schroth said. “I wanted something they could do outside school hours that gets them out in the community.”
Warrior Buddies’ mission is to promote social opportunities for all students regardless of academic, social, or physical ability. It pairs students with special needs with other students.
Schroth’s work going above and beyond in her work earned her the October 2022 Staff Member of the Month award. Colleagues said she goes out of her way to help her students and fellow staff alike.
As an adjusted learning teacher, Schroth teaches her students English, reading, math, science, and history along with social and vocational skills students will need to live independently after school. In addition to Warrior Buddies, Schroth also advises and coaches the Special Olympics participation.
“Madison has taken everything the school year has thrown at her in stride. From working with the adjusted learning schedules, kids being out sick, aides being out sick and changing roles she has not wavered from being a positive upbeat teacher,” said James Buss, special education instructional assistant.
A Crystal Lake South High School graduate, Schroth said she has a degree in communication disorders from University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and her plan was to work in speech pathology. She changed her focus to special education after working as a nanny. She started working in McHenry as an instructional assistant in 2014 and worked in a variety of roles, including as a student teacher, while getting a master’s in teaching special education from National Louis University.
She also recently completed a master’s degree in education curriculum and instruction with specializations program in director of special education.
Click here to see her award video.
The Staff Member of the Month program recognizes MCHS staff members who go above and beyond for the benefit of students. Thanks to the support from Meat and Potato Eatery and Brunch Cafe, each monthly winner receives a gift certificate as well as a plaque.
To learn more about the program, click here.