District Trio Earn Recognition For Impact In Special Ed
The 39th Annual Excellence in Education Awards recognizing students with disabilities, peers, and educators was held May 4 and included recognition for two Lakewood Schools students and staff member Neil Rupright. The event is planned by the ESC of Northeast Ohio and the State Support Team – Region 3 to recognize the great work being done by educators, teachers, students, and community members in special education.
Three awards are given to each district in Region 3:
- The Outstanding Student Achievement Award acknowledges achievements of school-age children and youth with disabilities in Northeast Ohio.
- The Outstanding Peer Achievement Award recognizes students without disabilities who have established positive relationships and who have assisted other students with disabilities, serving as exemplary role models.
- The Outstanding Educator Achievement Award honors educators and educational teams who are the exemplars in designing instructional strategies and programs.
Rupright, a paraprofessional at Garfield Middle School, earned the Outstanding Educator Achievement Award for the District. In addition, he was awarded the Franklin B. Walter Outstanding Educator Award. This award is presented to one educator from each of Ohio’s 16 State Support Team regions, who has made extraordinary contributions to the education of students with disabilities.
In her nomination form for Rupright, colleague Patti Witri said: “Neil treats all students with kindness and respect. He meets the students where they are functioning and works diligently to help them move forward to success in the classroom, school and their academics.”
Garfield eighth-grader Declan Markling earned the Outstanding Peer Achievement Award. Witri also nominated Declan for his award. She said of the Garfield eighth-grader: “Declan is a caring and compassionate person. He reads and socializes with the students in our BRIDGES unit…. Declan is an exceptional role model for the students in the BRIDGES program and the whole student body of how to treat everyone with kindness and concern.”
Finally, Lakewood High senior Johnnesha Johnson earned the Outstanding Student Achievement Award.
Intervention Specialist Carrie Sullivan nominated Johnnesha for her award. Said Sullivan about Johnnesha: “Johnnesha is one of the hardest working students I think I have seen in my career as a teacher…She is a student that has gone above the call of duty in all she has done at Lakewood High!” Sullivan noted that Johnnesha has accomplished a 3.7 GPA while also working 20 hours a week.
Congratulations to all our honorees for these deserved awards!