Jennifer Egan, a physical education instructor at the Woodland Developmental Center, is a finalist for national teacher of the year for students with special needs as awarded by the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. The alliance sets the national standards for physical education teachers. Egan, 33, will compete for the national award April 22-27 in North Carolina at the alliance’s national convention. She became eligible to compete by winning the alliance’s Midwest regional special needs teacher of the year award. Woodland serves students from across St. Clair County who have a range of disabilities. Egan is excited about the award. “It was something you’ve always dreamed about because it means you work hard and are doing what you’re supposed to be doing,” Egan said. “People who have won it in the past are people I’ve looked to as mentors. I love my job.” Woodland is operated by the St. Clair County Regional Educational Service Agency. RESA Superintendent Dan DeGrow said, “This award speaks to the quality of her work and the high expectations we all have at Woodland. It’s quite an honor for someone of her age to be recognized as being at the top of her profession.” Egan has worked at Woodland for six years. She has dual bachelor’s degrees in physical education for students with special needs, and general physical education and health from Western Michigan University. She also has a master’s degree in counseling from Oakland University. She was judged on the quality of the physical education curriculum she developed for Woodland and her other work in the profession. Egan volunteers with the Special Olympics and hosts a 5K run, the proceeds of which fund student scholarships. She also is active in making professional presentations to other teachers. She is a past president of the alliance’s Midwest region and will host the state convention this November in Lansing.