And another super teacher

Clip art licensed from the Clip Art Gallery on

Think about your best teacher ever, the one who inspired you, pushed you, encouraged you. These teachers are life changers and they often go unheralded. Recently, however, two JMU alumni teachers were recognized as Super Teachers for 2012 in the Virginia Lottery’s Super Teacher search. One is Margo Jantzi (’01M) (see the prior post). The other is Megan Beatty Gaeta (’08, ’09M)…..

Megan Gaeta is a special education teacher at Robinson Secondary School in Northern Virginia. But she is far more. Like Margo, Megan understands the need for community to be an integral part of education.

With her students in mind, Megan developed an ongoing class project, Packaged with Care. Her program meets significant community needs while teaching her students essential life skills.

“Using a budget, students purchase common household items, such as toiletries, school supplies, non-perishable foods, etc., and then they assemble the items into package to be donated to community-based charitites,” wrote Gregg Komitsky, a colleague of Megan’s, in his recommendation of her for the award.

Under Megan’s caring and creative eye, her students plan, shop, package and deliver the packages.

Megan has tapped into community organizations such as the Lion’s and Rotary clubs, businesses such as Costco and national corporations like Pepsi for support. She has applied for grants and gone far beyond the classroom to help her students learn invaluable life skills.

Another nominator wrote: “The benefits of this program have been amazing. The organizations are truly grateful for the donations. The student have not only had purposeful hands-on vocational and life skill training, they have learned a valuable lesson about help others. If you ask any of her students about the project and they will tell you in their own words. ‘It’s really cool because we are helping people in our community.’

Megan, like Margo, has gone above and beyond what their job descriptions require. Above and beyond. The definition of super.

You can learn more about Virginia’s super teachers, read the essays supporting their nominations and see videos of their award presentations at

You can also explore the College of Education online at


About James Madison University
This blog is about the people of James Madison University — a caring, committed and engaged community spread all over the world, making lives better and brighter, healthier and safer, kinder and bolder. As Gandhi suggested, we are taking steps to BE the CHANGE we wish to see in the world. And these are our stories....

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