IRSD honors the best of special educators


Coastal Point • Submitted: For their dedication to students with special needs, IRSD named its 2018 Special Education Ambassadors, including educators, a police officer and an entire cafeteria staff.Coastal Point • Submitted: For their dedication to students with special needs, IRSD named its 2018 Special Education Ambassadors, including educators, a police officer and an entire cafeteria staff.This year, about one in six students in the Indian River School District is receiving special-education services. With so many staff helping students with disabilities reach their full potential, the district recently named its IRSD Special Education Ambassadors for 2018.

Of nearly 200 nominations, the 18 honors went to various educators, a police officer and an entire cafeteria staff. Their glowing nominations described individuals who build report with the kids and families, and who hold students to a higher standard. They were called “patient,” “dedicated” and “role models” for other teachers.

School winners included: Audra Mitchell, East Millsboro Elementary; Sarah Johnston, Georgetown Elementary; Melissa McNamara, Georgetown Kindergarten Center; Stacey Pavlik, Georgetown Middle; Margot Newbold, G.W. Carver Academy; cafeteria workers and Wanda Burke, Howard T. Ennis; Stacey Holladay, Indian River High; Allison Bennett, John M. Clayton Elementary; Lauren Kirk, Long Neck Elementary; Jennah Truitt, Lord Baltimore Elementary; Zach Murphy, Millsboro Middle; Britney Lloyd, North Georgetown Elementary; Melissa Grunewald, Phillip C. Showell Elementary; Alyssa Mahon, Selbyville Middle; Frank Shockley, Southern Delaware School of the Arts; and Derrick Layfield, Sussex Central High.

Special community awards also went to AnnMarie Dalton of the Ocean View Police Department and honorary ambassador Megan Easter.

“These individuals have a tremendous positive impact on students every day,” said Jay Owens, IRSD director of student services and soon-to-be assistant superintendent. “Honoring our 2018 Special Education Ambassadors is the kickoff to IRSD Special Education Week. This week is an opportunity for our district to promote and celebrate special education services, special education programs, community members and special education teachers and staff who make it possible for students with disabilities to reach their full potential.”

The Special Education Task Force continues its mission to celebrate successes while seeking ways to improve special education overall.