Melinda Schmalz, a member of the Early Childhood Special Education Team at the Barre Supervisory Union (BSU) has been awarded the 2019 Golden Apple Award, recognizing exemplary effort and achievement on behalf of Vermont children.
Traci Sawyers, Executive Director of the Vermont Council of Special Education Administrators (VCSEA) presented the award at the Barre Town
School on Tuesday, May 21. In attendance were BSU Superintendent John Pandolfo, along with Schmalz’s colleagues, Early Ed Directors Sandra Cameron and Lauren May, and Melinda’s family, Tim, Olivia and Ruby.
Schmalz is a dedicated early childhood special educator who has spearheaded the development and implementation of an extended day service model for preschool students with intensive special needs who live in the Barre community. Specifically, this extended day preschool model fully integrates the students into a mainstream Pre-K class in the morning, and provides individualized special education services in the afternoon.
“Melinda took full charge and responsibility for the development of a service that simply did not exist in our community before this year,” Cameron noted. “We are all so proud of her work and the outcomes of this program, which have resulted in astonishing accomplishments for our youngest learners with intensive special needs. In fact, other school districts have expressed an interest in learning from this model and/or enrolling their students in this program.”
Stacy Anderson, Co-Director of Special Services at Barre Supervisory Union, adds “this year, Melinda stepped up to fill an innovative and unique role in our Supervisory Union that has made a real difference in the lives of six preschool children and has made us all extremely proud.”