AVERY Jayne Djubek and Penny Steffanni, special needs staff members at EHOVE Career Center, have been given the 2007 Walter-Horn Partnering for Progress: "Improving Results for All Students" Award. The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) presented them with the award Oct. 16 in Columbus at the Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities conference. State Sen. Randy Gardner was also honored with the Pioneer in Education Award.
The Walter-Horn Partnering for Progress Award honors individuals or teams of individuals who have made outstanding contributions in one or more of three areas: delivering standards-based instruction for all learners, including students with disabilities; building capacity for district or school instruction with academic and behavior improvement plans; or improving a district's or building's accountability efforts.
Recipients were selected by ODE's Office for Exceptional Children from nominations made by regional state support team staff.
VOSE (Vocational Special Education) coordinators Djubek and Steffanni were chosen for the honor based on their efforts as part of a team that implemented a school wide positive behavior support system for all students at EHOVE. The groups' work resulted in a drastic drop in the number of suspensions and expulsions of all students.
"When students are out of a classroom for in-school and out of school suspensions, their access to the general curriculum decreases," said Joyce Brouman, EHOVE assistant director. "Since the suspension rate has dropped, students are spending more time in the classroom."
Susan Tave Zelman, superintendent of Public Instruction for Ohio, commended the honorees. "As a result of their efforts, more students are improving their academic achievement and preparing for success as they graduate from high school and pursue employment or further education."
The award is named for Franklin B. Walter and the late Raymond A. Horn. Walter was a former superintendent of public instruction. During his tenure from 1977 to 1991, he developed the nation's first statewide plan for students with disabilities. Horn was a former assistant state superintendent who dedicated more than 50 years to improving the quality of learning for students with disabilities and was recognized as a national leader in special education issues.