by Amy Haggerty
The phrase, “It takes a village,” has held true for Nicole Borowy during her 19 years in the classroom. Borowy, who started her teaching career at Stockbridge Middle School, moved to Heritage School this past fall after administration approached her about working with students who have behavioral issues. With some convincing she took on this new challenge and was blessed to have some amazing paraprofessionals in support of her program. Borowy knew if she was to take on this endeavor, she needed to form her team to operate a successful classroom. She soon discovered that she loves her new job.
“I find working with students who struggle in general education classroom very rewarding,” she said.
Principal Sarah Bentley desribed Nicky Borowy as a “dedicated, caring, positive educator who goes above and beyond for students.” Bentley said Borowy’s passion centers on “making sure all students have what they need, and she works hard to meet students where they are, so that they are able to achieve.”
Bentley emphasized that a special education teachers can often face challenges of keep the variety of students on the same page. They have to work diligently to communicate with teachers, paraprofessionals, families, and administration, she said. “Nicky is always willing to do whatever it takes to build those relationships with everyone involved. And she does this with a smile, every day! She is a pleasure to work beside as we take care of kids.”
Borowy, who grew up in Flushing, Michigan, married her high school sweetheart, Bryan Borowy in 1999. They currently live in the Pleasant Lake area and have two children, 15-year-old Brenden Joseph and Andrea Nora, 12. Borowy attended Central Michigan University with a major in Special Education Cognitively Impaired and General Education. She minored in Child Development.
“I have been blessed to be surrounded by many people that have influenced me to pursue a teaching career,” Borowy said, attributing her parents, who were educators themselves, for helping her choose the teaching profession.
Borowy feels grateful to former administrators Jane Clarke, Mary Lou Clifton and Bruce Brown for hiring her just out of college as a 6th grade Special Education Teacher. She believes the best thing about teaching in Stockbridge is, “the involvement with our community members that help make a difference in our students’ daily lives.”
She is rewarded every day, said she, when she sees her students smile or interact positively with their peers. And her greatest sense of accomplishment comes as she watches her former students become successful adults. “I love hearing about my past students having careers, starting a family, furthering their education, or just creating their own success story.”
Borowy lives by the words from Haim Ginott: “I am the decisive element in my classroom. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. It is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalate a child humanized or dehumanized.” She teaches all her students to “be kind and always give your best effort.”