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Departments will recognize Lawrence Public Schools with Whelan Kansas Leadership for Learning Award

Monday, October 26, 2015

LAWRENCE — Each year, the Department of Special Education and the Center for Research on Learning at the University of Kansas recognize the work of educators in the state of Kansas with the Whelan Kansas Leadership for Learning Award. 

The 2015 Award has been given to Lawrence Public Schools and specifically acknowledges the leadership of the following individuals:

  • Rick Doll, superintendent
  • Angelique Nedved, assistant superintendent, Teaching & Learning
  • Terry McEwen, director of Assessment, Research & Instructional Resources
  • Kevin Harrell, director of Student Services
  • Leah Wisdom, Student Services coordinator

On Thursday, Oct. 29, the Department of Special Education and the Center for Research on Learning will present the award to the Lawrence Public Schools at 4 p.m. in the Hancock Room of The Oread Hotel, followed by a presentation by the awardees.  Individuals interested in attending the presentation are asked to RSVP via email to specialedu@ku.edu.

“This award recognizes the extraordinary and inspired leadership that Lawrence Public Schools have exhibited,” said Elizabeth Kozleski, chair of the Department of Special Education. “Their ability to lead courageous conversations about equity and race is a true testament to their leadership capabilities.”

Lawrence Public Schools was selected for the 2015 Whelan Kansas Leadership for Learning Award due to their focus on the district’s courageous approach to ensuring equity and opportunity for all students in the district, their comprehensive district-wide comprehensive, integrated, three-tiered (Ci3T) model of prevention to meet the academic, behavioral and social needs of all students, and their contributions to advancing the knowledge base for blended learning and technology-enabled personalized learning (TEPL).

The Whelan Kansas Leadership for Learning Award honors former KU dean, chair and professor, Richard Whelan, who served the Department of Special Education and the School of Education, and in retirement he worked tirelessly as a mediator for families of children with disabilities and local school districts. Whelan’s legacy — committed to improving opportunities to learn, seeking research-based solutions to the prevention and remediation of disabilities, and bringing together researchers and practitioners — is deeply embedded in this annual recognition of Kansans who focus on improving learning opportunities for all students.  

About the Center for Research on Learning
The Center for Research on Learning is an internationally recognized research and development organization noted for creating solutions that dramatically improve quality of life, learning and performance, especially for those who experience barriers to success. Both the Department of Special Education and the Center for Research on Learning together focus on improving outcomes for those whose struggles to learn are complicated by experience, abilities, culture, opportunity and access to opportunities to learn and succeed.

About Lawrence Public Schools
Lawrence USD 497 is a learning community committed to ensuring educational equity and excellence so that students of all races and backgrounds achieve at high levels and graduate prepared for success in college, careers and life in a diverse and rapidly changing world. The three pillars of Excellent, Equity and Excellence serve not only as the foundation for USD 497, but as a model for districts across the country. They have and continue to provide respectfully and consistent leadership to the incredibly talented faculty, staff and administrators throughout the system.

About the Department of Special Education
The Department of Special Education is housed in the KU School of Education. The department is the No. 1-ranked public special education department in the United States.

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