Michelle Schieve has been in education for 20 years, spending the last three teaching 8th-grade special education at Chenango Valley.

But she said education wasn't always the plan.

"When I graduated with a degree in psychology, I needed to make some money and I got a job as a teaching assistant up at Greene school district. It was that job I think that kind of helped me realize that teaching was a passion that I wanted to pursue," said Schieve.

On a day to day, Schieve spends her time with her students in small groups, or helping them in their core subject classrooms, like math and English.

But she says, it's about more than just the academics.

Schieve says, "We have a good relationship to best support their learning and their academics and just being a better person in life. I want to be that person to help them push through and be a better person."

It's not something she could do alone.

"Together we are our best team for these kids and I couldn't do it alone. As a special education teacher, we need the collaboration of everybody to help support these kids and overcome whatever challenges they might be facing," said Schieve.

The best part for Schieve, is having the opportunity to make a lasting impact on students.

Schieve said, "In special education, I get to work really closely with those kids and I get to spend a lot of time with those kids. I mean, they even call me their school mom at times, but I really love that support that I can give them. "