Distinguished Alumna: Teacher Advocates for Special Needs Children Nationwide

Distinguished Alumna: Teacher Advocates for Special Needs Children Nationwide

Distinguished Alumna Michelle Felis Accardi BA '87, director of state policy and advocacy for the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, first felt the call to educate children, especially those with disabilities, while practicing law as a private sector attorney. Her dedication and leadership as an elementary school teacher of children with special needs was quickly recognized and put to work on a national level.

Currently, Accardi works in Washington, D.C., with policymakers, advocates and educators across the country to develop education policy that promotes effective teaching and student achievement. She will be awarded one of UD's Distinguished Alumni Awards at a dinner in their honor on Saturday, Oct. 5.

As one of 102,000 teachers (three percent of teachers nationwide) to attain the highest level of teaching certificationa national board certified teacherAccardi is uniquely qualified to advocate for special needs children.

"Her dedication to the profession of education and her desire to increase awareness for students with special needs is what sets Michelle apart from other educators," said Lisa Oliphant, Albuquerque Public Schools special education instructional manager.

Despite a hefty list of impressive career accomplishments, Accardi has made a habit of finding time to volunteer, working pro-bono for a children's charity in Albuquerque while practicing law, teaching Catechism classes at her parish and always being available or fellow teachers.

News

Parents Support University in Late Daughter's Memory

Mike Kiegerl's youngest daughter, Christine, would have graduated from UD in the Class of 1994, but just before her graduation, she was struck by an impaired truck driver and died instantly. Kiegerl and his wife, Peggy, established the Christine S. Kiegerl Memorial Scholarship in their girl's memory in 1997.

+ Read More

UD in Service: Ph.D. Students Share 'Confessions' in South Irving

UD students not only read St. Augustine's "Confessions" in Rome, traveling to Ostia to marvel at the place in which, according to Book IX, St. Augustine and his mother, St. Monica, had a joint mystical vision of God — they also travel 4.4 miles from the Irving campus to read the text with residents of South Irving.

+ Read More