Tierney Thompson is a special education teacher of 20 years working in the Bonner Springs School District in Kansas. She received her undergraduate degree from New Mexico State University in 1997 in elementary education and special education (with a focus on behavior disorders, intellectual disabilities and physical impairments) and in May of 2005 she received her master’s degree from the University of Kansas with an emphasis on Autism. Her first 15 years of teaching she worked at the elementary school where she worked with students with a variety of exceptionalities. She worked hard with the staff to develop an environment of belonging where all kids could be successful and created a culture of compassion and inclusiveness. In 2013 she moved up to the high school where she continues to work with her previous students and their families, guiding them through the process of transition into adulthood.