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Megan Allen was the 2010 Florida Department of Education/Macy's Teacher of the Year and the Christa McAuliffe Ambassador to Education, as well as one of four National Teacher of the Year finalists. She has a bachelor’s degree from Clemson University in Language and International Trade and a master’s degree from University of South Florida-St. Petersburg in Elementary Education. She is currently a K-5 grade special education teacher in Tampa, Florida. Megan serves as a National Board Certified Teacher mentor, and began a Green Team recycling program, a Keys to Success program for student achievement, and a Confidence Squad Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test prep, pep, and step team. She has also led her students in researching and planting two school butterfly and reading gardens, as well as Yaritza’s garden--a memory oasis dedicated to a student who died of Leukemia. She is also dedicated to building student leadership qualities, and won a grant for an afterschool service and leadership club called Cleveland SOUL (Serving Others through Understanding Leadership). She believes the most effective way to make a difference is to teach students that they hold the power to make a difference in their own lives and the lives of others.