Community

You left me in awe | LETTER TO THE EDITOR

To the editor:

I have had an extraordinary experience as director of special education in our district this school year. I am looking forward to new professional challenges at South Whidbey High School next year, but am reflective about this year with all the hats I (we) have worn.

While I have always seen special education as an essential part of how we work for kids in our system, this year of leading and working with the support staff, specialists, teachers and families in the district’s special education program has been enlightening, inspiring and heart-opening.

Many of the parents and caregivers of special education students have considerable challenges. Students with disabilities have unique needs for specially designed instruction to provide access to education, and meeting these myriad needs requires enormous dedication, focused teamwork with families, advocacy, creativity and sincere care.

I have been awed by the extraordinary work of our school districts’ special and general education staff in working with kids and families in their programs.

I have witnessed too many scenes of tenderheartedness and professionalism in this great work to recount here.

But I have learned that not only do special education students have challenges to be met, but also have a tremendous amount of teaching to offer all of us in the learning community.

This experience has given new meaning to the notion that all of our children belong to all of us. They are our responsibility and our gift.

SCOTT MAUK

Outgoing Director of Special Education and Special Services, and Director of Whidbey Island Academy

Community Events, April 2014

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