(The following nomination was written on behalf of Josh Long, a student struggling with autism. His mother, Heidi Long and AGOC spokeswoman, Christine Bencheck combined efforts to send this.)
I would like to nominate Susan Migliaccio, a Special Education teacher with the Corry Area School District, for the Golden Apple Award. Sue has worked with many students over the years helping them to reach their academic goals but also to learn how to interact socially in the school atmosphere and with helping these students to transition and adapt to the challenges they will face in the years after school whether in college or as members of the work force.
Sue was also instrumental in forming the Autism Group of Corry, which is made up of parents with autistic children in the school district. Sue along with the group members tackle the need to make first responders (fire fighters, EMTs and police officers) aware of the behaviors of people with autism and to train them on how to interact with these autistic people during times of crisis or disaster.
A lot of these students, who will go on to become adult members of our community, will struggle with being able to express themselves to emergency personnel and law enforcement during situations that would normally not be a problem for a typical person. She also gives these students/adults opportunities to meet the first responders in hope of making them feel more comfortable if they should find themselves in a situation that requires them to interact with a first responder.
Sue is not only an outstanding teacher but she also volunteers as a Disaster Team Leader for the Corry Chapter of the American Red Cross. This volunteer work allows Sue to use her talents as an educator and mentor in times of disaster in our local area. Sue has an unlimited supply of enthusiasm and self-motivation when it comes to helping her students and people with special needs. That is why we are nominating her for the Golden Apple Award.
- Josh Long