HIRAM, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — This week's Inspiring Educator is Joanne McKenney, a special education teacher at Sacopee Valley High School in Hiram.

McKenney is also the dropout prevention coordinator, dealing with at-risk students.

"Even though my job title is a special education teacher, those [at-risk students] are the kids that steal my heart, that I fight for to have a safe place," McKenney said. "Sometimes my room is all they have and home isn't always great for a lot of students. I am passionate about seeing them through until the end."

She was nominated by colleague Jaci Ritter, who said McKenney "dedicates her days to helping students find success at school" and "motivates others to see the good in each student and never gives up on them."