May 29, 2007
For immediate release
UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz School announces the 2007 Thomas G. Haring Memorial Awards honoring achievement in special education
At a ceremony at the UC Santa Barbara campus on Friday, May 25, the Special Education, Disability, and Risk Studies emphasis at the Gevirtz School presented the 2007 Thomas G Haring Memorial Awards honoring achievement in special education. This year’s winners were: the Lifetime Service Award – Fred Weintraub; the Haring Memorial Fellowship – Alexis Filippini; the Awards for Community Service – Dr. Earl Lynch and Patty Moore; the Early Career Award – Kristin Uliasz. Dr. George Singer, a Professor in the Special Education Disabilities and Risk (SPEDR) program at the Gevirtz School, who served as the emcee for the event, called these awardees “everyday heroes.”
Fred Weintraub served as the Director for Governmental Affairs at the Council for Exceptional Children, the largest professional organization for special educators in the U.S. He served as a liaison to Congress for over 25 years and was instrumental in the writing and garnering political support for two of the major laws which have created a right to education and a national system of special education services. He wrote major sections of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and contributed to the writing of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. More recently, Weintraub has been the court appointed Special Master for the Chandra Smith lawsuit settlement in Los Angeles. This lawsuit was a class action mounted by parents of children with disabilities for LA Unified School District’s out dated and/or inadequate educational practices for special education students and their parents.
The Thomas Haring Fellowship was established by the Haring family as a memorial to their son who was a beloved professor at UC Santa Barbara. Haring was an extraordinarily creative researcher and an advocate for people with disabilities as well as an excellent teacher and mentor and the award is presented to a doctoral student who embodies his enduring principles. Alexis Filippini – this year’s recipient – will graduate in June with her Ph.D. She has conducted research on earlier literacy instruction for English Language Learning children, helping the Gevirtz School develop an innovative and powerful Harding School Initiative. She will take a position as an Assistant Professor in the Special Education Department at San Francisco State University in the fall.
Dr. Earl Lynch, the medical director for public health in Santa Barbara County, received his award to honor his unusually positive efforts to support children with disabilities and their parents in the area. Lynch was in particular lauded for his work leading to children being diagnosed at a younger age and getting into treatments programs at a younger age. He also has done much to provide for migrant worker health care.
Patty Moore, the parent of a young adult child with Down Syndrome, is an exceptionally competent advocate and leader in the development of early intervention services for children and their families in the whole of Santa Barbara County. She founded the Family First Agency, a part of the ARC of Santa Barbara County (formerly known as the Association for Mental Retardation). In this role Moore has created an agency which provides information and advocacy to parents of young children with disabilities on the Central Coast. She has been particularly responsive to the needs of immigrant parents and has employed Spanish speaking mothers as paraprofessionals to serve the North County.
Kristin Uliasz, a graduate of the Gevirtz School’s Moderate/Severe Teacher Training Program, is a first year special education teacher at Mt. View Elementary School in Goleta where she teaches a special day class for students with moderate/severe disabilities. The award acknowledges her excellence as a new teacher who has focused on the kind of structure and accurate instruction needed for this group of students. She has also demonstrated a genuine commitment to supporting parents and becoming partners with them in their children’s education.
Photo Caption: The 2007 Haring Award winners with Cathy Haring Breen; from left to right: Cathy Haring Breen, Patty Moore, Kristin Uliasz, Dr. Earl Lynch, Alexis Filippini, and Fred Weintraub. Photo by Nell Campbell.
[George Singer is available for interviews; contact George Yatchisin at 805 893 5789]
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