In recent months, the Exceptional Children (EC) Division has been inviting people to suggest colleagues to highlight in the “The Exceptional Times” newsletter.
Those highlighted in October newsletter are Rufus Couch, Cessily Evans, Zane Gibson, Lori Tincher and Carolyn Woods.
Here is what the people nominating them had to say about their colleagues:
In recommending Rufus Couch, Peggy Dickey, the principal at Lowrance Middle School, wrote:
“I would like to recognize Rufus Couch as Lowrance’s EC TED representative for October. He is an assistant in one of our ID-Severe classes. He is a CPI (Carolina Placement Inc.) employee (at this time-hoping to make him permanent when he puts in his time!). He came into our school not knowing really what he was getting into. He hit the ground running-working with the children, changing diapers, holding hands when they were crying, working on their academic skills.
"Every time I walk into the room he is engaged and focused on the students. The students react positively to him and look for him to be there with them. One student in particular has latched herself to him and makes sure that he is around when she is eating or sitting or just waiting for the bus. He does all of these things with a smile on his face and a gleam in his eyes. The impact he has is amazing-he is able to soothe upset students and make sure all of their needs are met. The classroom teacher and other assistant speak very highly of him and are glad that he was assigned to their classroom."
In recommending Cessily Evans, Donna Horton-Berry, the principal of Carter High School, wrote:
“Carter has many amazing folks but I was particularly amazed by a teaching assistant’s Pledge of Urgency. It summarizes the feeling that we wish we all had.
“Cessily Evans wrote: ‘I pledge to be readily available to my students to accommodate their needs, nurture their interest, and glorify their accomplishments. As a team member I will make sure I am diligent in my attempts and efforts to affect positive change in the workplace. I will be consistent in assisting my teacher in any way conducive to the goals and expectations of the classroom and to the students. I will start and finish each day at Carter with optimism and avoid negativity at all cost.’
“She is an exceptional person to work with and has many talents that make our program richer. She also has quite a way with words.”
In recommending Zane Gibson, Donald Wyatt, the assistant principal, at Sedge Garden Elementary School write:
“Zane Gibson is a teacher assistant in a Map-Core III/IV classroom at Sedge Garden Elementary School. He began working with us in October of 2014. He is currently adding on a degree and licensure in Special Education: Adapted Curriculum through the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
“Zane comes into school every day with a positive outlook and enthusiasm to work and learn. He is interested in understanding student behaviors and finding solutions to keep them on task throughout the day. Zane is willing to help out throughout the school at any time and has been moved around to different classrooms in order to meet different student’s needs. Any time any of our staff needs a laugh, he is there to pick us back up again. Zane has a true gift for working with students with special needs and we are so lucky to have him!”
In recommending Lori Tincher, an Exceptional Children assistant at Wiley Magnet Middle School, Heather Dirks, an EC case manager at Wiley wrote:
“Ms. Tincher is new to Wiley, but she is not new to supporting students based on their needs. She hit the ground running the first day she started at Wiley, and she has not slowed down a bit. She is my ‘yes’ person who works tirelessly on student evaluations, advocating, communicating, and documenting necessary components in order to progress monitor and reflect student needs.
“She supports our resource room during ELA (English language arts) and math for our sixth-grade group. She continues to support our resource students in science and social studies classes when they travel to a regular education teacher. She teaches two classes of Corrective Reading, and she is also able to support our inclusion students in seventh grade during science instruction.
“She asks every day ‘How can I help?’ It is so refreshing to have her energy, her compassion, and her knowledge at Wiley within our EC Department. I am beyond excited to see how she will continue to positively impact and encourage our students throughout the year.”
In recommending Carolyn Woods, Susan Battigelli, the EC lead speech pathologist, wrote:
“Not only has Carolyn Woods been a speech-language pathologist with Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools for over 35 years, she has coordinated the Sertoma Speech Program since 1989. This program provides speech-language therapy to over 100 children each summer.
“On Sept. 14, Carolyn made her annual presentation to the Winston-Salem Sertoma Club to thank them for their continued financial support and to highlight the positive impact these speech-language services make on the lives to children. Thank you, Carolyn, for all you do to advocate for and serve the students and families of Forsyth County!”