Models of Excellence in the Education Profession

Article excerpt

Each year, in its Annual Education Issue, EP magazine honors the education professionals that our readers feel have made a positive difference in the lives of children with special needs at school and other educational environments.

These teachers and administrative personnel spend their careers working to enhance the quality of education that students with disabilities receive and they perform their jobs with a passion, creativity, and professionalism that sets them apart from the rest.

The individuals featured here have been chosen as our 2010 Models of Excellence in the Education Profession.

LAURA FOGG

Orientation and Mobility Specialist, Mendocino County Schools/SELPA, CA

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"Laura Fogg is my daughter's Orientation and Mobility teacher, but she does so much more than just teach how to get around with low vision. She has been instrumental in teaching my daughter social skills, and has worked hard to make sure my daughter has an Intervener and services from California Deaf Blind services (my daughter is deaf-blind), as well as spending extra time training the Intervener. Laura hasn't just done this for my own child, she goes the extra mile for all of her students, even driving them to doctor's appointments in San Francisco (we live two hours away in rural Mendocino County, and transportation can be tricky). Laura has devoted 30 years to children with blindness, and was a pioneer in teaching very young children how to use a white cane (prior to 1980, white cane was never taught to toddlers. Laura was one of the people who fought to change that). She is also the author of Traveling Blind: Life Lessons from Unlikely Teachers, a memoir about her life as a teacher, which I had the honor of publishing."

--Nominated by Terena Scott

CHRISTINA CUPO

Matheny School, Peapack, NJ

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"As a child growing up in Summit, NJ, Christina Cupo struggled with reading and writing and was often pulled from her regular classes in elementary school. When she graduated from high school, she realized that, 'special education was the only way I would be able to pass the patience and understanding I had gained onto a new generation of students.' According to Sheryl Gavaras, Matheny principal, Cupo, 'exemplifies commitment and passion for the special education community. …