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enAble honors special education teachers


Awards luncheon for seven educators



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The seven teachers awarded Teacher of the Year, from left, are Sarah Jones, Dr. Karla Wade, Cheryl Horacek, Jim McCaffrey, Jessica Kasten, Andrea Wheeler and Kim Mullis. (click for larger version)
February 18, 2014
NORTH FULTON, Ga. – Saturday, Feb. 1, marked the third annual Special Education Teacher of the Year Award Celebration Luncheon at enAble of Georgia. Seven local teachers gathered to be honored and to learn more about the services enAble offers.

Founded in 1979, enAble helps people with developmental disabilities lead fulfilled lives – physically, intellectually and socially. Employees of enAble gathered to expand on their high opinions of the nonprofit and its goals for the future.

The enAble employees congregated to thank the special education teachers.

As children with developmental disabilities grow, they experience a vital transition period in their early years in which it is very important for them to develop according to their personal needs. Many people mistake this transitional period as a time to coddle or even ignore potential behavioral issues, when in fact it is extremely important to do just the opposite. Special education teachers play an essential role in helping children with disabilities to not only acknowledge their individuality, but also to grow as a unique and independent human being.

Amy Vergith, support manager of day and employment services in Roswell, said that before she began working with the nonprofit, she had never worked with adults with developmental disabilities.

"It's the kids in that transitional period that we need to work with," she said.

As a community resource, enAble reaches out to the special education teachers of the area to ensure collaboration amongst those who work with people with developmental disabilities. Vernard Williams, enAble's coordinator of community living support services, made sure to tell the teachers at the luncheon, "We appreciate what you do."

Together, special education teachers are the first stepping stone to such examples of success for people with developmental disabilities. EnAble seeks to honor the efforts of these teachers and ensure that the community acknowledges and appreciates the extraordinary accomplishments that they make every day.

The third annual "Celebration Luncheon" is only the beginning of enAble's mission to credit such wonderful teachers. March 8, enAble will host its 26th annual "Dare to Dream" gala at the Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel, where one teacher will be honored with the Special Education Teacher of the Year Award.

"We greatly value our relationship with the transition specialists who work tirelessly to support students with special needs in our network of high schools; this award is one modest way of saying thank you to them," said Harry Stern.

The winner of the Special Education Transition Teacher of the Year Award 2013-2014 will receive a crystal award with their name and enAble logo etched upon it, a $2,000 cash award and a $500 gift certificate for the School Place of Roswell.

To learn more about tickets and sponsorships for the 26th annual "Dare to Dream" gala, contact Nancy Lindgren at 770-664-4347, ext. 121 or email her at nlindgren@enablega.org.

JC-02-19-14

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