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Special Ed advisers present awards


Prince Frederick, MD  - Special education requires special people to serve as educators. That group includes teachers, school support staff and even transportation providers. A volunteer group in Calvert that works to assure the process is handled efficiently decided it would be appropriate to honor the many professionals who provide the extra attention to students with special needs. On Wednesday, May 31, the Calvert County Special Education Citizens’ Advisory Committee (SECAC) held its First annual Teacher and Staff Awards at Calvert High School (CHS). The brief but emotional ceremony was held in the school’s atrium.

“This is a very exciting event,” SECAC Chair Shelley Miller stated. “The nominations were written by families of children in Calvert County Public Schools Special Education.” Twenty-five individuals were nominated and received recognition.

“I look forward to the stories you have to tell,” said Calvert County Board of Education Vice President Tracy H. McGuire.

Calvert County Public Schools’ (CCPS) Executive Director of Administration Anthony Navarro thanked both the advisory committee members who are parents of special education students and the system’s Special Education Department for their work helping the children with their “lifelong journey to a career.” Navarro told the story of a man who became successful despite having dyslexia, who “who learned other ways to accomplish goals.”

There were four award categories. The “Related Services Staff” award was presented to Calvert Country School. The school was nominated by Elizabeth Calabrese. The “Support Staff” award was presented to bus driver Bernadette Wills and bus aide Dawn Cranford. Wills and Cranford were nominated by Katrina Jones. “As a parent I was very worried about my kid on a new bus,” said Jones, who indicated Wills and Cranford worked diligently to allay those worries. The “Child’s Team” award was presented to seven members of the Windy Hill Elementary School (WHES) staff –Principal Kelly Griffith, two second grade teachers, Lauryn Turner and Stasha Sobotka; special education teacher Delores Roan, instructional assistant Debbie Coates, a member of the instructional resource staff, Sue Reedy; and counselor Sara Frederick. The WHES Team was nominated by Terri McKinstry. The “Individual Teacher or Aide” award was presented to special education teacher Katie Bolt of Huntingtown Elementary School. Bolt was nominated by Theresa Kuhns.

“These [awards] are the ‘people’s choice,’ ” declared CCPS Director of Special Education Christina Harris.

Each winning school and the CCPS Department of Transportation will receive a $50 grant from the Autism Support Group of Southern Maryland.

For more information on CCPS SECAC, visit www.calvertsecac.org

Contact Marty Madden at marty.madden@thebaynet.com

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