Friday, June 15, 2012

Shining Star Winners

The Georgetown SEPAC Congratulates Our Shining Star Award Winners June 11th, 2012 – The Georgetown Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) was pleased this year to offer the Shining Star Award for Georgetown School District employees who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in teaching, reaching out to, and inspiring our children with special needs over this last school year. In short, this award is for those who are making an outstanding difference. The 2012 Shining Star Award winners were announced at the Georgetown SEPAC’s last meeting for this school year, on Monday evening, June 11th, 2012. The award winners were selected by the special education parents of Georgetown, who were all invited to submit a description of how particular Georgetown School employees have helped their children. Nominations were then reviewed by SEPAC officers. With this award, parents had an opportunity to show their sincere appreciation of the Georgetown school staff’s excellence in teaching, hard work, and caring that helps build solid relationships with our children every day. How do our stellar teachers in Georgetown shine? How do they make such an impact in our children’s lives? These were some of the comments were made by grateful parents this year about different outstanding teachers in the Georgetown Schools. • She is my hero. I absolutely adore her, and will be forever grateful. She has been able to build a rapport with my son who has trust issues and gets him excited about school. Last year she got him an internship which led to a job, which he loves. This year he was struggling, not wanting to stay in school and she is the one that got him up, got him going, got him back. Now he has caught up to his peers academically. She is not just a teacher, she is an excellent mentor, confidant, friend, and champion to him. • Without his help and encouragement my son would have had another lost year. Now he is doing much better. • She has been extremely helpful this year with our family. She knows exactly how to phrase situations, her documentation is right on target, and as a family of an IEP child, I feel she really rallies for us. My son really loves to practice his math with her. She keeps me well informed about how my son is doing on a regular basis. • He goes above and beyond for the kids and he truly cares. • She has made a huge difference in my son’s education. Every day, my son looks forward to working with her; and I believe he works harder because of her. She is kind, considerate, understands my son while keeping him on track and taking no nonsense from him; and she keeps an open line of communication with me (and that makes me feel that she really does care so much about my son and our family - she is also proud of all of his accomplishments, whether they are big or small). • She has a wonderful way of inspiring creativity in all children and provides a wonderful outlet for my son. It is the part of his week he takes the most pride in and loves to talk about. She is an amazing teacher and we are blessed to have her teaching our children in Georgetown. • He takes a real interest, offers practical advice and help. • She has been extraordinary with my son, transitioning him to the general Ed class 100 percent of the time. She has a wonderful way with the kids- she is structured yet flexible. She has quite a few special ed kids this year, but you would never know it. The class is always under control yet the kids have fun. Current SEPAC Chairperson Pam Lundquist extended a sincere congratulations to this year's Shining Star Award recipients, who are: - Ms. Lisa Mosquera, Middle School Compass Teacher - Ms. Dawn Rezendes, Penn Brook Art Teacher “The efforts of Ms. Mosquera and Ms. Rezendes have stood out to special education parents as extraordinary and noteworthy. They have both been extremely helpful to many students this year.” Lundquist said. “We want to thank all of our teachers for understanding how important it is at school to reach out, notice children's strengths, build strong personal relationships with kids so that they can feel comfortable asking for help, sharing their thoughts, feeling valued for who they are, as well as for their hard work.” “We want to always remember to support, recognize and appreciate those special teachers who, seeing our precious diamonds in the rough, are able to help our children to realize their dignity, their strengths, their abilities, their gifts. Because every child has them.” “We hope that all of our dedicated teachers know that we appreciate everything that they do, and the Georgetown SEPAC looks forward to being able to offer Shining Star Awards to other deserving teachers in the future.” After the award ceremony, the Georgetown SEPAC parents present all approved a new parent to assume the Chairperson position beginning in the fall, Ms. Shelby Walker. Ms. Walker has four children in the Georgetown Public Schools, and she enthusiastically accepted the position. Superintendent Carol Jacobs was on hand to extend congratulations to the winners. She also addressed the parents on the state and direction of special education programs for the year. "We look forward to welcoming our new Director of Special Education, Donna Straight, who will be starting her new position on July 1st," Ms. Jacobs affirmed. The Georgetown SEPAC serves as a resource and advisor to parents of children with special needs in Georgetown. The group is dedicated to helping parents to take actions that will effectively benefit their children. It reaches that goal by holding regular educational meetings or workshops on a variety of topics and by helping parents network with each other. The SEPAC also works closely with the Georgetown School District to identify areas of need and advise on how to improve the special education programs and services that children with special needs rely on. It acts in an advisory role through the SEPAC Chairperson to the School Committee regarding Special Education issues. By Pam Lundquist, Georgetown SEPAC, Chairperson