WOODRIDGE, Ill. — For our final teacher of the month for this school year, we introduce you to Josie Markus.

Markus teaches young people with profound autism. She is passionate about helping her students see the possibilities in their abilities.

She is a licensed behavioral specialist teacher at Guiding Light Academy in Woodridge.

“Honestly, I just embrace the chaos,” she said. “I know every day is going to be different and that’s the best part.”

She’s been working at Guiding Light for more than three years teaching critical life skills to students ages 18-to-22.

Award sponsor Ankin Law presented Ms. Josie with a $1000 check for the school.

“You have your great days and your good days and then you have those days when you just question like, ‘Am I doing enough? Am I giving them what they need?’” she said. “When I heard I was nominated and selected for this, I just cried. And I honestly couldn’t do it without the team that I have.”

And she has big plans for the award money to help fund a new business.

“Our proposal will be for a pet care business, so we’ll have dog treats, we’re going to make boards for leash holders, collar bows and have all of our students in high school classes and transition classes be a part of that from start to finish,” she said. 

Ms. Josie says there are just not enough resources for young people with profound autism. She says teaching and supporting these students touches her heart and soul.

“I’m honored and I’m blessed that these parents trust me and send their children here every single day and trust I’m going to take care of them every day,” she said. “And, it makes my heart happy.”