ESC of Northeast Ohio Recognizes Students, Peers and Educators with 2021 Excellence in Education Awards
For the past 42 years, the Educational Service Center (ESC) of Northeast Ohio and State Support Team – Region 3 recognize students with disabilities, peers and educators with the annual Excellence in Education Awards.
The Outstanding Educator Achievement Award honors educators who are the exemplars in designing instructional strategies and programs.
The 2021 Franklin B Walter Outstanding Educator Award Recipient from SST Region 3 area is Ms. Kerry Sheldon of Fairview Park City Schools.
Kerry Sheldon is described as an excellent teacher, colleague, and advocate. She is extremely sensitive to the needs of her students, despite their diversity of needs. Kerry is a true advocate for each of them. She is patient, positive, and consistently maintains a growth mindset. Although the students she serves have a wide range of abilities, she pushes each student to do their best and takes time to celebrate their successes, no matter how small.
Kerry always wants the best for each student. She encourages each one to step outside of their comfort zone to try new things. She makes learning fun! Kerry’s understanding of each student’s strengths and lagging skills, along with her ability to incorporate a multitude of instructional strategies, results in increased learning across all domains; academically, functionally, and socio-emotionally. Her students’ growth does not go unnoticed by her colleagues.
Kerry has developed and implemented initiatives designed to increase students’ application of skills being learned. In the past, Kerry began a “Communication Café” by collaborating with speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, and other intervention specialists. It involved organizing and managing a monthly student-led restaurant. Her students applied academic, language, and vocational skills to successfully run the café. Kerry’s most recent innovation is “Smoothies on the Go” which is a student-run business. First, the students created a video to introduce their business. They receive orders from teachers and staff in the building, shop, prepare and make smoothies, count the money received, and deliver the smoothies to their customers. With the profit’s, students buy food to support the local food bank providing them the opportunity to give back to the community.
During the COVID 19 emergency school closures, Kerry created both paper learning activities and online learning opportunities using Google Meets. If students needed hands on materials, Kerry delivered the materials to the students’ houses after work hours. Kerry establishes and maintains excellent communication with the parents of her students through a weekly newsletter, frequent emails, and phone calls or text messaging.
Kerry has participated in activities outside of school that support students with disabilities including the Milestone’s Strike It Big event and Autism Speaks walk. She also volunteers at Prayers from Maria which is a sunflower Field of Hope for children with cancer. Kerry is a teacher, mentor, and advisor to all who work with her. Kerry is not only an asset to the students, but an inspiration for her colleagues.