To the editor:
On behalf of the Parent Advisory Committee for Special Education, I would like to thank the following people who helped make out 12th annual award's night on May 6th such a great success: Sue Mewbourn, executive secretary for Special Education - Sue's outstanding efforts make our program happen; Chris Salo, director of Special Education, for her support and remarks honoring retiring superintendent, Dennis Harbour; Dennis Harbour for his support and years of service; Kangas Catering for the delicious meal, Meagan Stilp of the DMG for her great coverage; Sandy Uusitalo for her support and PAC Awards Committee members: Diana Hocking, Lori Geshel, Carrie Johnson and Stefanie Kozich.
The Parent Advisory Committee for Special Education is comprised of parents of children with disabilities. We act as liaisons between parents, schools, teachers, the community and the intermediate school district. The highlight of our year is our awards program where we honor individuals and groups for outstanding contributions made in special education. The awards recognize the "tiny but significant" things; small kindnesses and selfless acts that happen on a daily basis in special education under the radar - good people doing good things. "I'm just doing my job." is a refrain heard over and over. Laughter, tears, humility, admiration, respect and awareness are hallmarks of this event.
As a parent of a child with special needs, it's often the small things that mean the most. The caring teacher, aide, classmate, bus driver, food service worker, janitor and administrator who all contribute in ways big and small to my son's daily school life. They do so without thought of their own gain but to help and enhance the life of the student entrusted to them. There is no typical day in the classroom for students with special needs and each day presents unique challenges. Staff are often required to think on their feet and do so with strength, compassion, team work and a healthy sense of humor.
As the saying goes, "It takes a village to raise a child." It certainly does. We are so fortunate to live in an area where our village is filled with countless talented caring individuals. The PAC extends our heartfelt thanks to our award winners and those that nominated them. We are all in this together. Thank goodness.