SNAC‎ > ‎


2018/2019 SNAColades

The Special Needs Advisory Council (SNAC) created SNAColades to honor CHCCS teachers, staff and administrators who, through their hard work and creativity, make our children's school experience more meaningful.  The following have been selected for this recognition based on the testimonials of the Exceptional Children community.  Below each name is a quote from an appreciative parent or CHCCS administrator.

Carrboro Elementary

Grace Park

I would love to give Ms. Park a SNAColade because she has been such a wonderful teacher for Johnny this year. I was so relieved at our first conference when Ms. Park acknowledged Johnny's zest and love for life and her desire to keep that spark in him throughout the school year.  She has kept Johnny's quality of life in her mind and heart as the work progressed this year and Johnny's frustration started to build. Her patience and praise was key in keeping Johnny engaged and in protecting his love of school. She has done such a great job communicating with my husband and me about Johnny's motivation and perseverance.  She has also recently given him awards at just the right time to keep him motivated. Thank you, Ms. Park!     

June Romero

Ms. Romero always has fun activities for Johnny and he enjoys spending time with her. He is very happy and proud to show us the special work he does with Ms. Romero.

Linda Wilson

Our son, Johnny, has struggled in his first year of school due to his fine motor delays and the increased demands in writing as the year has progressed.  Ms. Wilson is truly a gift to him and our family.  She is abundantly patient and kind and showers Johnny with praise for his hard work and determination.  I think that Johnny's close relationship with Ms. Wilson is honestly what gets him out of bed and into the classroom on days when he wants to give up.  Johnny thrives on praise and affection and Ms. Wilson lavishes him with both at this crucial time when his feelings about school and learning are forming.  If not for Ms. Wilson's special attention, I believe Johnny would have gone down the path of apathy and self-doubt.  I am so grateful her.  Thank you for allowing me to share.

Tami Atkins

Ms. Atkins has been such an amazing partner in helping our son, Johnny with his fine motor skills.  She is so kind and patient and Johnny loves his special times with her.  In addition, she has been very communicative with my husband and I and has helped us work through emerging issues quickly.  She even helped us get chewing gum approved for our son and it has helped him so much with is concentration.  Ms Atkins has also taken the time to show my husband and I tools and techniques that we can use at home with our son.  The transition to Kindergarten is a big one and we have really appreciated her help!

Carrboro High

Mellissa Barry

Ms Barry continues to be a Teacher who goes the extra mile to engage not only the students in her class but the school community and volunteers.  The love and attention which is given to the subject matter during the year and the engagement of everyone in the community makes Ms Barry the awesome Teacher she is for my student and all the students at the school.  Many Kudos to Ms Barry.

Ajalyn Baker

Coach Baker is soooo cool.  She provides an atheletic outlet for self-esteem by encouraging Miriam to be her best self on the cheer squad.  She works like, well, a Jaguar for those girls... and she is their inspiration.  And mine.

John Faircloth

Coach "Fair-a-cloth" goes the extra mile to seek out both the needs and the strengths of a student.  He knows when to hold on and when to let a kid fly.

Karen Veltri and Rashmi Van Hook

I'd like to recognize Karen Veltri and Rashmi Van Hook for outstanding performances as incredible job coaches this year!  Their patience, support and expertise in job coaching has been critical to my son's success.  This was the most critical component for his launch from being a senior plus high school student to adulthood .  Thank you Karen and Rashmi!

Chapel Hill High School

Bryan Tuck

As a new teaching assistant for my child, Bryan exceeds the above and beyond relationship with my son. He’s a mentor, holds Daniel accountable, helps him, communicates so well with him and our family, and encourages him to be the best kid he can be. He’s always reliable and cheerful. The class, and my son, couldn’t do it without him. He is such a great addition and we appreciate him so much!

Michelle Wilson

Ms. Wilson reached out to our son's class at the beginning of the year expressing willingness to help students in difficult situations. She supported our son through some difficult situations involving the accommodations in his 504 plan, and managed to de-escalate some stressful situations.  She has expressed commitment to helping out in the future, acting as an advocate for him.  This is her first year in her new role, and I would like to recognize that she has gone above and beyond expectations!

Ryan McGraw

Mr. McGraw has been a strong advocate for our son throughout his high school years.  He has always made himself accessible, despite his very heavy caseload.  He has always done what he can to help our son navigate his courses with strong consideration and mindfulness of his special needs.  He has a true family perspective, allowing us to be part of the team, while at the same time encouraging our son towards increasing his independence and self-advocacy.  He is truly exceptional at what he does and we are very grateful for all that he has done.

Jay Cotton

Jay Cotton is a tenacious, hard working, patient, kind and funny EC Lead.   She is terrific at trying to find "outside the box" solutions for my challenging 15 year old and she really cares about her students.  She's also very experienced which means that she doesn't get rattled at the "shocking" things she sees and hears.  She is a rock star!!

Culbreth Middle

Matt Straub

Mr. Straub continues to be an advocate and leader for inclusion as the Middle School Peer Buddy Program Facilitator. The program facilitates friendships, builds leadership skills and promotes acceptance, understanding and awareness of differences among students. The Peer Buddy program supports ALL students including EC, ESL and general education population. Thank you to Matt for his committment to inclusion.

East Chapel Hill High

Chris Gibson

Chris has taken on the job placement responsibilities this year with enthusiasm and dedication. He found a fabulous job for my daughter Lucy this spring at a pre-school and has been very responsive to discussions of post-school placements. It is fun to discuss job opportunities with Chris.

Vanessa Diggs

As my son would say, she is awesome. In English, she helped her students access several classics at a level they could analyze and understand. In OCS, she taught them how to develop business plans and is working on obtaining grant money to help make their business goals reality. To juggle English, Social Studies, and occupational prep classes is a significant challenge which she rose to and made fun for her students.

Kathleen Laufer

Ms. Laufer juggles co-teaching a personal finance class, OCS Science, and occupational prep classes for her students in occupational course of study which in itself is laudable. She goes above and beyond by corresponding weekly with parents to keep them up to date.

Kenneth Proulx

Mr. Proulx is navigating his first year at ECHH and from the beginning of the year he has made time to stop by the EC classrooms and get to know our students.

Sarah Harvel

Ms. Harvel has done an amazing job handling the social and emotional issues of the wide range of students in her class in addition to academics and life skills. She also frequently reaches out to let me know when my son has had a great day. Kudos to her for accepting, appreciating and celebrating  the special needs of her students.

Sarah is flexible and loving in her support of students. She takes the time to write e-mail updates on what the students are studying and will call to leave a message if your son or daughter has had a particularly good day and has earned praise, or needs further encouragement. It is so great to have the relevant details to celebrate a good day at school during family time.

Ron Forgarty

Mr. Forgarty gives EC students demanding work project an expects excellence from them. Their work in the cafeteria is challenging and builds school community.

Sharie Walker

Ms. Walker is friendly and helpful and provides a warm and welcoming face for EC students and their parents checking in and out of school.

Ephesus Elementary

Sonya Adams

Sonya Adams is completing her 30th year as a special education teacher. Ms. Adams is everything that you would want in a teacher. She is calm, caring, and very thoughtful about the plans and goals that she creates for her students. Although, Ms. Adams is in her 30th year, she remains up to date on current trends for supporting EC students. She has excellent data collection skills and does a great job building relationships with families and students.

McDougle Middle

Anthony Bianchi

Mr. Bianchi has reached out to multiple resources this year in an effort to make the best plan for our daughter.  He is responsive to parent concerns and is working hard!

Morris Grove Elementary

Colleen Hickey

Ms Colleen has helped bring language to Ryan this year and helped his communication skills so much!! We can't thank her enough!!

Gina Lacava

She's amazing!! She brings out the best in Ryan and helps him learn to communicate and interact with the world and his peers.

Kimberly Bailliard

Our first grade son has benefited beyond words from Ms. Kimberly's loving support.  She developed and ran a reward program that helped him achieve independence in morning drop-off at school.  She is a reliable smiling face for him who exudes kindness and warmth.  Thank you, Ms. Kimberly!

Stacey Mertz

Stacey provides Ryan the ability to attend school and have his medical needs maintained while still allowing him to be a kid! She's amazing and takes such good care of him always!!

Northside Elementary

Torrance Jones

Mr. Jones has come in as a new teacher to Northside and done such a marvelous job of recognizing the needs of students and then meeting those needs. He not only does a great job serving the kids on his case load, but reaches out beyond his walls to support many students in the school with social, emotional, behavior and academic needs. He is knowledgeable and kind and, in my opinion, those are the top two traits of a great teacher!

Rashkis Elementary

Alice Rivenbark

Alice is an honest, thoughtful and caring advocate for our exceptional children. I appreciated her organization of the bowling this spring, and how amazing she was with some of the children that struggled. Additionally, Alice has taken a leadership role in planning the summer enrichment camp, which my daughter absolutely loved last summer.

Janice Croasmun

I want to express my sincere appreciation to Dr. Croasmun for being the most superb school principal I have ever known. Her leadership during the time that my child has attended Rashkis Elementary has been inspiring. Her efforts to include the three new exceptional child classrooms this year have been remarkable and successful. I know many other parents and students feel the same way, even though we might often forget to say how much we appreciate her. Thank you again to Dr. Croasmun for her strong leadership. Our school is definitely a better place because she is there.

Jodi Paridon

For her commitment to special education, her energy and dedication, her professionalism and imagination. For believing in the unlimited potential of our kid and doing everything in her power to help her achieve it. She is the best ally we could ever wish for.

Leigh Owens

Leigh Owens is an amazing source of positive energy and enthusiasm. I'm so grateful that Courtney gets to spend every day with her. I appreciate how Leigh has been concerned about Courtney's seizure activity, and she was the first one to suggest a seizure log. She is quick to let me know of any changes, both good and bad. I appreciate her careful consideration. All of the children respond well to Leigh's fun nature. I hope to have her level of energy one day. Many thanks to her for all that she does for our exceptional children.

Ranjana Subhash

Ranjana Subhash (Mrs. R) is so full of love and kindness. I appreciate her beautiful smile, quiet patience, and eagerness to engage and play with the students. Mrs. R has been a big help in Courtney's classroom. She is always there to offer a warm hug or helping hand. I'm grateful for her addition to Courtney's classroom this year.

Sarah Smith

Sarah is exceptionally creative in her approaches to teaching my daughter, Courtney, how to use her PODD. Sarah will create an integrated experience for learning using the PODD along with a combination of reading, video, and crafts. Sarah goes above and beyond in her communication with parents, daily preparation, and thoughtful concern for the learning of others.

Sheena Hooker

Sheena Hooker is a kind, generous and experienced teacher. She is an important advocate for the students, and willing to speak up and share something important or follow up with something meaningful. In addition to being strong, she's also very thoughtful and always willing to give a hug or helping hand.

Suzan Belvin

Suzan Belvin is a kind person and amazing teacher. She possesses the knowledge, skills, disposition, and values to enable students with exceptional needs to reach their potential. With 20 years of experience, she deserves not only praise but also a medal of honor for her years of sacrifice and dedication.

Scroggs Elementary

Gina Pellegrini

I am giving Gina a SNAColade for her time, patience and understanding she has given my child this year.  His continued growth throughout this grade level wouldn't be possible without Gina's guidance.  Thank YOU!

Jodi Wise

Ms. Wise works seamlessly with the Scroggs EC team to benefit all EC students in her classroom. Our son has benefited enormously from her tutelage and we will miss her next year!

Terri DeBerjeois

Ms. DeBerjeois works wonders as an occupational therapist. Our son's fine motor skills would not be where they are without her help.

Theresa Menz

Ms. Menz is an incredibly dedicated speech therapist. Our son is communicating better all the time, and she is the big reason why!

Smith Middle

Annika Godin Green

Ms. Godin Green arrived from Hawaii to work as a TA in my daughter's AC classroom. She is hands on with the students, helping them with their schedules, maximizing their time in electives and supporting their communication efforts. She loves to read to the students and it is wonderful to see her reading aloud to a student during choice time! She is an asset to our classroom.

Chris Glasco

Mr. Chris is a favorite TA among both the AC and regular students .He is always enthusiastic, always inclusive with our non verbal, mobility limited students and encourages peer support from neurotypical students. He is one of the lead teachers with the Peer Buddy program, which is a favorite activity for all student participants. He also finds time to coach the  girls' soccer and basketball teams. He is very athletic and bikes to school. He never refuses a bar of candy!

Donna Barton

Ms. Donna is the language facilitator in my daughter's AC classroom. She uses sign language to support her student and help encourage his communication with other classmates and adults. She supports the teacher and the other students, with her calm demeanor and attention to detail. We are fortunate to have her be part of the team.

Eli Peich

Mr. Peich is the kind of teacher who not only teaches content, but he connects with students personally. I know he will be one of the teachers that Violet  will remember fondly as an adult. School can be difficult at times, and to have this touchstone at Smith makes all the difference! Thank you.

Gina Chapman

Ms. Chapman is an experienced AC classroom teacher. She cares about each of her students, encourages conversations with them, despite their limited expressive language. She communicates the curriculum and specials with parents. She is willing to partner with families to collaborate on individual student needs. She is supportive of her teaching assistants and classroom volunteers. She is learning quickly about middle school processes, after being in elementary school for many years. We are very fortunate that my daughter has been in her class the past 18 months.

Gina Chapman, Wendy lee, Donna Barton, Chris Glasco, Annika Grodin Green

The ACC crew at Smith has gone above and beyond to make this past year our best.


SelectionFile type iconFile nameDescriptionSizeRevisionTimeUser