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Butler Teachers Receive Erin Ritchey Memorial Award

Butler Teachers Receive Erin Ritchey Memorial Award

It’s not just the students they teach that make Jennifer Jette and Amanda Gallup special.  For all of their work, these Butler High School special education teachers are receiving special recognition from the Montgomery County Board of Developmental Disabilities Services.

The pair received the Erin Ritchey Challenge Award at the 28th Annual Developmental Disabilities Hall of Fame luncheon held Friday, April 29 at the Mandalay Banquet Center.

Special Education Coordinator Margee Zimpher nominated the two teachers for their commitment to their students, helping them to achieve success in and out of school.

“The commitment these two ladies have to their students is incredible, and it’s amazing how well they work together for the benefit of their students,” Zimpher said.

Jette works with students at BHS.  She says she tries to provide her students with as many typical high school experiences as possible, developing their social, emotional and life skills.  Gallup works with students as they prepare for adulthood, providing opportunities for students to work in the community and be prepared for the transition to the real world.

“It is well known that the student coming from Butler have very well developed independent living skills and most are ready for employment,” Zimpher said.

Marie Blackburn, the Employability Specialist for the North Consortium Program for Multiple Disabilities says Jette and Gallup focus on what their students can do, not what they can’t do.

“They look at the strengths of each student and set their goals a little higher.  They also work on improving their weaknesses in an effort to prepare them to be as independent as possible after graduation,” Blackburn said.

The Erin Ritchey Memorial Fund was established so that children and adults with developmental disabilities, the families who support them and people who serve them may know a future of understanding and acceptance.

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