Lori Tullos Barta (1971-2010) was a shining star of light, hope, and love for people with Down syndrome in Central Texas and their families. Through her tireless efforts Lori launched numerous Educational Programs that directly benefitted the lives of individuals with Down syndrome including the DSACT Learning Program, Back to School Tools, Parents and Schools in Partnership, Inclusion Solutions and the Educator’s Manual. She was intently focused on DSACT’s mission of including people with Down syndrome in all aspects of our community and ensuring each individual realizes his or her potential. Her energy and legacy continue to be a driving force as DSACT works to provide Programs, Resources, and Services to individuals with Down syndrome, their families, professionals, and the community.

 

Lori Tullos Barta Educator of the Year Award

The Lori Tullos Barta Educator of the Year Award is presented to a deserving person or team to celebrate World Down Syndrome Day on March 21. With this award, DSACT offers members the opportunity to recognize the person or team that has had an undeniable impact on your child and provided support to you. Nominees are those educators who go beyond expectations and stand out above the crowd. After reading through all the nominations, DSACT's committee selects a truly deserving person. All educators, including teachers, paraeducators, therapists, and principals can be nominated. You can also nominate teams if you prefer. 

This is your opportunity to say “thank you” to outstanding educators. DSACT will notify all nominees and their principals of your, and our, appreciation for their outstanding contributions to students. Let’s recognize those outstanding individuals.

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2019 Lori Tullos Barta Educator of the Year and education team of the year

In 2019, DSACT was pleased to recognize both an Educator and Education Team of the Year!

2019 Educator of the Year - Lindsay davis

Lindsay Davis was selected for the 2019 Lori Tullos Barta Educator of the Year Award for her unwavering support and positive communication with her students. She was nominated by Maggie Suter, whose son William was a student of Mrs. Davis’s at Barton Creek Elementary School in Eanes ISD after a difficult move from the Houston area.

Maggie Suter had this to say about Mrs. Davis: “Mrs. Lindsay Davis has always encouraged our son William to participate in extra-curricular, inclusive activities. She was always on the lookout for new things for him to try. With her encouragement and support, William joined the school choir and participated in the concerts. She also helped start up the school coffee cart that included both general education and special education students taking orders and selling coffee to teachers. Lindsay made sure that William was always included in school activities like the wax museum, where he became Stevie Ray Vaughn for the day. She treated him with dignity and respect at all times, which is one of the reasons why we believe he bonded so well with her from the very beginning.”

Mrs. Davis supported William on a daily basis. She consistently texted/emailed the Suter family to share photos on an application called See Saw. Throughout the day, the Suters would get short videos of William during music therapy, reading, or doing something else in class that Mrs. Davis wanted to share. The family had never experienced that before and loved getting to see what William did at school every day. Mrs. Davis went to all parent conferences, another thing the Suter family had not experienced. Maggie Suter says “this made complete sense since she spent so much time with him and she was able to offer insight that the teacher did not always have. We felt like she was William's personal advocate at school in a way, which is extremely comforting.”

DSACT is proud of and appreciates the strong dedication Mrs. Lindsay Davis has shown to members of the Down syndrome community!

2019 Education Team of the Year: Dana Barton, Randi reyes, krissy anderson, and janet mormon

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The education team of Dana Barton (special education), Randi Reyes (general education), Krissy Anderson (instructional aide), and Janet Mormon (principal) of Frost Elementary School was selected as the 2019 Lori Tullos Barta Education Team of the Year. Nominated by Julie Peschel for its support during her daughter Olivia’s first year of school, this team has shown an outstanding ability to set its students up for success.

Julie Peschel had this to say about the team: “With this team, Olivia has flourished both educationally and socially. She is doing well in the general education classroom with Ms. Reyes, while also receiving additional special education support with the special education teacher, Ms. Barton, in a small group or one- on-one setting. This is all possible because of the wonderful Ms. Anderson, the aide assists her throughout the day to ensure she is getting the most out of the curriculum and also ensuring she stays safe at school. Olivia is reading; showing great strides in her fine motor skills such as cutting, coloring and writing; and has shown great improvement in gross motor skills on and off the playground. Olivia has increased in her independence. We truly believe that the great strides Olivia has made is because of our educational team who embraces all that inclusion can do for the special need student. This starts from the top with Principal Janet Mormon.

“Olivia's team has high expectations for her which is demonstrated by their willingness to include her the majority of the day in the general education classroom. This team truly cares about Olivia and want her to succeed. They do not view her disability as reason that she cannot flourish in the general education classroom. Olivia's team also always treats her with respect and dignity. She has never been treated differently than other students. The team works well with one another and with us to ensure that Olivia gets the most out of her education, builds strong peer relationships, and grows educationally and socially.”

In addition to supporting Olivia at school, the team has helped Olivia’s parents, too: “Our education team has supported my husband and I by always keeping open lines of communication. If there is an issue that we all need to work on, we work on it together. Our team keeps us apprised daily with a wonderful daily log on what Olivia is working on at school, her successes, and any issues from the day. If there is something they are working on at school that they want us to work on at home, they do not hesitate to let us know.”

This team seems to have mastered the art of inclusive education and made it possible for all students to shine.