State Support Team Region 15 has announced this year’s Horn-Walter Outstanding Achievement Awards, which recognizes an outstanding educator/team and a student from the counties served by State Support Team Region 15.
The Franklin B. Walter Outstanding Educator Award is named in honor of Dr. Franklin B. Walter, former superintendent of Ohio’s public instruction, who devoted over 50 years of service developing quality educational initiatives and programs, including the nation’s first statewide plan for children with disabilities. This award honors a teacher or educational team who has shown outstanding achievement when educating students with disabilities.
The 2020 Franklin B. Walter Outstanding Educator Award Recipients is the Huntington Elementary Intervention Team consisting of Principal Heidi Gray and Intervention Specialists Mary Ellen Cox, Gwen Grubb, Tess Hatmacher, Trisha Henderson, Heidi Kellough, Danielle Morgan, Kerry Willis, Karen Wise.
The Huntington Elementary Intervention Team has gone above and beyond to service the students of Huntington Elementary. Over the last few years, the team recognized the need for more support for their students in areas of sensory by connecting these sensory needs to behaviors that were impeding student mental well-being and learning. The team began to research and collaborate with sensory experts, visited local developmental disability agencies and planned for the creation of a sensory therapy room for our school.
The team’s hard work and planning has paid off, and the school now has a well-equipped sensory room for our students. While the equipment is important, what is most important to the success of our students is the behavior plans and adult interventions that the team has implemented. Our intervention specialists have ignited a culture shift in our building. No longer are teachers first looking for punishment of behaviors; they now are looking for cause and support. Using a shared Google Doc to track student behavior details and adult intervention, the IEP team can make better informed decisions about behavior. Students with challenging behaviors or sensory needs now have written plans, behavior tracking, and sensory breaks built into their schedule.
The results have been eye-opening for all stakeholders. Teachers feel informed and prepared. Parents feel supported and heard. One family that has been a part of the process has seen great improvements in their child’s behavior. This third grader’s disruptive and self-harm behaviors have decreased by 63% from August 2019 to March 2020. This student’s father stated, “I wish everyone knew how wonderful Huntington Elementary is and what they provide for their students.” The Horn Walter Award provides the opportunity to give this innovative, hardworking team the recognition they deserve.
Congratulations to our team on their outstanding achievements!