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Oregon's Teacher Of The Year Hosts His Annual Special Needs Prom

OPB | May 9, 2014 4:28 p.m. | Updated: May 10, 2014 10:03 a.m. | Portland

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Oregon’s teacher of the year spent Friday at the special needs prom — an event he started.

Strobe lights, fancy dresses, and a huge bowl of punch greet students as they walk in.

This is only the fifth year there’s been a prom for students in special education.

Lucy Ohlsen / OPB

It’s all thanks to the first special ed teacher to be name Oregon’s teacher of the year.

Brett Bigham teaches the transition program for Multnomah Education Service District.

“It’s just the natural thing as you get to your last year of school. Everybody gets a prom. It was necessary. And as you can see, the kids just love it,” Bigham says.

Lucy Ohlsen / OPB

There is no prom king or queen, and this dance is in the early afternoon.

There are special diet treats and quiet spaces to get away from the noise and lights.

Students come from as far away as Gervais and Rainier for the dance.

Since Bigham held the first special needs prom, it’s only grown.

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