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PHOTO: Early Childhood Educator Honored

Sue Powell was recently named the Educator of the Month for November by Anne Arundel County Public Schools.

Anne Arundel County Public Schools (AACPS) recognizes educators, employees and volunteers each month from September to June during the school year. Awards are presented at Board of Education meetings and Patch is pleased to announce the honorees.

The November "Educator of the Month" is Sue Powell, an Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) specialist in the county.

According to the AACPS website, the Educator of the Month is chosen by a committee made up of members of the Anne Arundel County Retired School Personnel Association (AARSPA).

Here is the text of the speech presented at the Nov. 14 meeting in honor of Powell:

Today the Board of Education recognizes a distinguished educator who has devoted over 30 years of service to the youngest population of students in our school system.  In her affiliation with the Division of Special Education, Sue Powell has served as the pioneering Child Find educational diagnostician for preschool-aged children with suspected disabilities.  In her current capacity as Early Childhood Intervention specialist she provides consultation to principals, teachers, parents and partners from other child-serving agencies regarding the range of issues associated with children who have special needs.  In both capacities she has served in an exemplary manner and her contributions have been far-reaching.

As the first Child Find clinician with AACPS, Mrs. Powell established the highly successful system of observing, evaluating and devising programs for preschoolers with suspected disabilities.  In her career she has co-evaluated more than 4,000 children with her clinical insight and compassionate approach to assessment and intervention.

Sue Powell designed the first Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) classroom in the county.  She serves as a resource specialist for an innovative program for young children and their families as well as the ECI specialist for 20 ECI classes.  In this role she has mentored teachers, advised school teams, worked with outside specialists, and conducted many discussions with parents regarding child-specific concerns.  She has been instrumental in providing parents with strategies to assist children with challenging behaviors and she has been the link to many community resources that were accessed to help families and children.

Mrs. Powell is the consummate professional.  She consistently goes the extra mile – staying late to work on grants, manning resource and information tables in community fairs, adopting the attitude that she will do whatever is needed to make positive contributions to young children and their families.  Sue’s pioneering work with Child Find has been recognized by other school districts in Maryland, many of whom had adopted the trans-disciplinary, play-based assessment process that Mrs. Power has devised with her speech pathologist colleagues.  Just last week Sue Powell received the 2012 Jennifer Summers Barrett “Champion of Children” award from the Early Childhood Coalition of Anne Arundel County.

“Sue Powell is an incredible asset to our school system and, most importantly, to our youngest learners,” said Mary Tillar, Director of Special Education.  “Her passion and dedication have resulted in more opportunities and greater successes for children of all learning types.  She has created programs that enable children to be better poised to enter Kindergarten ready; ready to partake in educational experiences that recognize their fullest potential.”

Sue Powell, on behalf of the Board of Education and the staff and families of Birth to Five Services, it is our privilege to recognize you Educator of the Month for November 2012.  Congratulations!

Click here to nominate a deserving AACPS educator, employee or volunteer.

Do you know Sue Powell? Tell us in the comments.

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