Teacher’s aide earns state award
By Angie Landsverk
Amy Husnick’s work with special needs youth is being recognized.
She is this year’s recipient of the Wisconsin Council for Exceptional Children’s May Lemke Special Service Award.
Husnick is a special education teacher’s aide at Weyauwega-Fremont Middle School.
“Being nominated and then chosen, I’m honored,” she said. “It’s a unique award. It ties in working with kids in school and also in the community.”
She has been in her current position in the district for 17 years.
“It’s always been the same classroom, the same teacher,” she said.
That teacher is Teresa VanEss.
“We’ve been together the whole entire time,” Husnick said. “We just work so well together. If something comes up, she takes care of things.”
The award Husnick received honors May Lemke.
During her lifetime, Lemke demonstrated dedication, commitment and perseverance in helping her son, Leslie, develop his musical talents.
The award recognizes someone who has provided outstanding service to or for children and youth who have special needs.
Husnick received the award during a March 10 program in Fond du Lac.
Kandi Martin, director of pupil services/curriculum in the W-F School District, nominated her for the award.
“I have never met anymore who puts as much heart and time into serving the special education community inside and outside the work day as she does,” Martin wrote in nominating Husnick.
Husnick enjoys working with teens and did so at home as well.
She was a foster parent for close to 20 years.
Husnick became one in 1999 and over the course of 19 years, fostered 31 children.
She also has three biological children and two adopted children.
“It felt like it was meant to be,” she said of being a foster parent.
Six of the children she fostered return for holidays and birthdays.
“I see them on a regular basis,” Husnick said. “The others I run into from time to time.”
She enjoys watching them interact when they visit.
“It’s fun. Our kitchen table used to be where they always sat,” Husnick said. “When they get together, it’s fun to listen to them as they go around reminiscing.”
They always return to that table.
Two years ago, Husnick opened her home to a developmentally disabled young woman.
Husnick’s daughter, Aysia, works with the woman during the day.
There is a need for people to help care for developmentally disabled young adults, Husnick says.
“My daughter worked with her before I did. It’s been a positive thing all around,” she said. “I never would have guessed five years ago I would do it. But it feels good. I’m just transitioning into the next chapter.”
Husnick said her work at school melds together well with what she does at home.
Martin said Husnick quickly gets to know new students she is assigned to work with and puts forth her best efforts to do everything she can to help them succeed.
“Ms. Husnick also does a great job of developing relationships with students, staff and parents,” Martin said. “She puts families at ease when she picks up and drops off their children. She is able to share with them how the student’s day went.”
Husnick likes the challenge of working with middle school students.
Each day is different, and she enjoys supporting students in the classroom.
“I like that age,” Husnick said. “I guess it’s just part of me.”