Make a Difference Awards presented

May 11, 2019

VICTORY TWP. — The Special Education Parent Advisory Committee of the West Shore Educational Service District presented its fourth annual Make a Difference Awards to 21 recipients during a ceremony held Friday at West Shore Community College.

The awards are presented “In recognition of outstanding people, agencies and businesses throughout our area that have made a significant, positive impact and are contributing to the education and success of children with special needs,” according to the parent advisory committee. Recipients of the awards for 2018-2019 included, in the agency or business category, Sandcastles Children’s Museum, Wolf’s Den and the Ludington Daily News. For the parent or community member category, the award went to Bruce Patterson.

For the peer support category, the award was presented to Isaiah Martinez-Coleman of Ludington Area Schools.

For the special education teachers category, Shelly Anderson and Julie Deisch of Ludington Area Schools, Dustin Dean of Shelby Public Schools and Laura Gauthier of Mason County Central Schools received awards.

Those honored in the general education teacher category were Cindy Hill of Ludington Area Schools and Karen McLouth of Shelby Public Schools. In the support staff person category, the awards went to Mark Boon and Annette Espinoza of Ludington Area Schools, Laurie Hertzler of Hart Public Schools and Shannon Miston of Mason County Eastern Schools. For the ancillary staff person category, the West Shore ESD staff members Kristie Dila, Kristi Glanville, Axel Johnson III and Jennifer Olson were honored. In the administrator category, awards went to Kevin Kimes of Mason County Central Schools and Bill Mueller of West Shore ESD. The award ceremony was held at the college’s administrative and conference building, in conjunction with the West Shore ESD prom.

The keynote speaker was Jeanne Oakes, community and educational leader and former West Shore ESD superintendent. Oakes thanked the award honorees.

“We make a difference ... one child at a time,” she said. “Our honorees make a difference in our schools and ultimately our communities. They know their purpose, and inspire others to find their purpose ... You are a constant reminder of the power of example. Thank you for your example and for all you do each and every day in the lives of all our children and to make this community what it is.”

The parent advisory committee is composed of parents from the school districts within the West Shore ESD boundaries in Lake, Mason and Oceana counties.