Willingboro Special Educators Recognized for Excellence

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Garfield Park Academy’s Lindsey Pirillo and Roberta Bankston-Leconey Receive Regional Teaching Award

Roberta Bankston

These women are outstanding role models and have a true passion for their work with students who have unique challenges," said Dr. Steven Morse, Superintendent of Garfield Park Academy.

Garfield Park Academy, a private school serving students with disabilities, has announced that two of their educators were recently recognized by ASAH, a statewide association of private schools serving students in need of special education.

Lindsey Pirillo was honored as Regional Educator of the Year, and Roberta Bankston-Leconey was honored as Regional Para-professional of the Year

Pirillo, a certified special educator, teaches 4th and 5th graders. She has been with Garfield Park Academy for four years, having started as an instructional aide. She recently earned the position of Lead Teacher at the elementary level, and works closely with other staff in the areas of curriculum, instructional strategies, and technology. In addition to her work in the classroom, Pirillo has also worked at Garfield Park Academy’s after hours program, STEPS, which serves adults with developmental disabilities.

Bankston-Leconey has been with Garfield Park Academy for more than a decade. She began her career as a one-to-one instructional aide and is now the lead facilitator in her classroom.

As educators at Garfield Park Academy, both women are trained in the use of the Teaching Family Model to help students with emotional and behavioral disabilities learn. They use a range of instructional strategies, including hands-on and interactive lessons, to engage students in the learning process, and to create a positive classroom environment.

“We are incredibly proud of both Lindsey and Roberta,” said Dr. Steven Morse, Superintendent of Garfield Park Academy. “They are outstanding role models and have a true passion for their work with students who have unique challenges,” he added.
“They have earned the respect of colleagues and the leadership here.”

The awards were given before a crowd of nearly 1,000 attendees at ASAH’s annual conference in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

About: Garfield Park Academy is a state-approved, not-for-profit school that provides effective, evidence-based special education services for students in grades K-12 who have a history of learning, social, emotional and behavioral challenges. The school's comprehensive services and programs are designed to wrap around each student and his or her family to ensure success. Students are placed by their local school district at no cost to parents. For more information, visit http://www.garfieldparkacademy.org

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Brenda Considine
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