Freida J. Riley Teacher Award 2002
$10,000 Freida J. Riley Teacher Award Columbus Scholar
recipient of the 2002 $10,000 Freida J. Riley Teacher
Award was Amy Dunaway-Haney, a Spanish teacher at Kettering Fairmont
High School, Kettering, Ohio. Mrs. Dunaway-Haney received the award in
May at the Opening Ceremony for Space Day 2002 at
the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.
Mrs. Dunaway-Haney was diagnosed at 8 years old with Limb Girdle Muscular
Dystrophy, a degenerative muscle disease. Confined to a wheelchair since
her sophomore year in high school, she participated in many activities including
chorus and the show choir. Moreover, she earned two scholarships for college.
While attending Bowling Green State University, Amy had to overcome the
challenges of her disease and the discouragement of some professors to achieve
her dream of becoming a teacher. As the first wheelchair-bound resident
student at Bowling Green, she opened the way for many handicap accessible
facilities on campus including electric doors and reliable elevators. In
addition to her course work and many student activities, a highlight of
her senior year was being named Homecoming Queen. After graduation, she
married college sweetheart Tim Haney.
In addition to teaching Spanish at the high school level for ten years,
Amy teaches Spanish in the evenings and summer at Sinclair Community College.
She has a Master's degree in clinical counseling enabling her to work as
an individual, group and marriage/family counselor. She incorporates her
teaching skills and life experiences along with her counseling expertise
to be a teacher for "Kids' Turn," a program to educate families
about how to deal with the difficulties of divorce. She also facilitates
a support group for patients of neuromuscular diseases and their families.
Amy's desire is to broaden her students' perspectives and inspire them
to appreciate and make the most of the opportunities they have. As a result,
a number of former students have become teachers, occupational therapists,
doctors and special education teachers. Amy truly inspires people to "see
the person within" and not the person in the wheelchair.