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Anne Marie Rooney, New Rochelle educator, finds out Tuesday if she is a "Live with Kelly and Michael" top teacher finalist
New Rochelle will be watching tomorrow morning to see whether its own Anne Marie Rooney is named one of the five finalists for top teacher honors on TV's "Live with Kelly and Michael."
Rooney, a special education teacher, said last week that she was overwhelmed by the nomination from thankful parents for her work with their autistic son. She said that for more than 20 years she has simply tried to understand where her students are coming from.
"They're very special children," said Rooney, who teaches at Ward Elementary School. "They need such patience and understanding that you have to be able to be tolerant with them, day in and day out, in order for them to be successful."
Rooney is among the 12 contenders in the TV show's search for top teacher. The five finalists will be determined by viewers, and the winners will be announced on the show Tuesday. Voting is open until 5 p.m. Monday at the show's site.
The parents of student Timothy Bavosa wrote an impassioned letter to the TV show, calling Rooney “a legend in the city of New Rochelle” and “a hero to our family.”
The Bavosas shared a story of how Rooney’s magic touch turned their 7-year-old autistic son from being an unresponsive child to one who sings and laughs.
Timothy Bavosa even wrote a heartfelt poem about his teacher, which is posted on the show’s website. It's truly a tearjerker. The poem includes the lines:
“Two years ago, I met Mrs. Rooney,
And even though I drove her looney
She held my hand and scolded me
And told me to be Timothy”
"I have yet to meet a parent who does not consider the time in her class to be the most positive and productive periods in their young child's life," said Naomi Brickel, a New Rochelle School Board member.
Rooney's principal, Franco Miele, said this about Rooney: "Her passion and love for kids is second to none. It's absolutely amazing. What she brings each and every day is her very best. She touches kids all throughout the city."
The five teachers who receive the most votes from the public will be filmed in their classrooms for a feature, and they will appear on a future segment of the TV show.