GOLDEN APPLE: Illini West teacher surprised at track meet - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

GOLDEN APPLE: Illini West teacher surprised at track meet

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CARTHAGE, Ill. (WGEM) -- A high school teacher in Carthage is showing his students they can overcome any adversities in life, no matter what disability they might be living with.

Illini West High School teacher Adrian McKay was shocked when we interrupted the Courageous Smiles track meet to present him with a 2013 Golden Apple Award.

"I'm shocked. I couldn't believe someone nominated me. I definitely appreciate everyone who nominated me and thought I was good enough to get this award."

Mr. McKay has been teaching for five years. The last three at Illini West. He teaches special education.  His students deal with a variety of disabilities and special needs.

HIs work with his students, in and out of the classroom, is what makes Mr. McKay stand out. This track meet is just one example of how he goes above and beyond for his 22 students. McKay says it's designed to give kids living with special needs and disabilities the chance to feel like they can overcome any obstacle.

"It's absolutely amazing. This is just one of a few programs and activities that we take part in at Illini West."

Mr. McKay says his brother, who lives with a disability, inspired him to go into teaching. He says he's honored to be recognized for doing what he loves.

"It's always been a passion of mine. I love special education specifically. I just couldn't picture myself doing anything else."

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