Students, Staff Win Awards at Self-Advocacy Association Conference

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On Oct, 30, members of the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District, along with parents and students attended the 2018 Self-Advocacy Association of New York State Conference in Melville.

The staff present were presented with an award for “the Standard of Excellence of teaching their students, parents and staff the importance of Self-Advocacy.” 

Cheryl Gitlitz, transition coordinator, Theresa Catalina, Special Education Chairperson at Calhoun High School, Emily Paluseo, Assistant Director of Special Education and Eric Arlin, Director of Special Education were present on behalf of the district. Mary Jo Kennedy, the vocational counselor from South Oaks Career and Educational Counseling Center was also present. Additionally, parents from SEPTA Alyssa Gecsedi and Gail Broder-Katz were in attendance.

In addition to the district being recognized, Brett and Scott Weisbrot from Sanford H. Calhoun High School were presented with the Mary Margaret Quinn Award. They were nominated by Emily Paluseo, the district’s assistant director of special education and pupil personnel services for their work as youth advocates.

“The award is named after Mary Margaret Quinn, an remarkable young woman who spoke up for herself and truly lived a life of distinction,” explained Paluseo. “The Weisbrots and their parents were present to receive this award. They both follow in Mary Margaret’s footsteps as they advocate for themselves and others on a regular basis.”

The Weisbrots will graduate from Calhoun High School this June with High School Diplomas.