Three Los Alamitos Unified School District educators recently were recognized by the Down Syndrome Association of Orange County for their work with students with special needs. Speech and language pathologist Rosemary Lotts and educational specialists Julie Demuth and Michelle Kelly were named Educators of the Year 2018-19 for their efforts as part of the district’s Adult Transition Program, which provides students with vocational and independent living skills through their 22nd birthday.  Students enter the program after high school and learn specific work skills at community sites and are supported by staff members throughout their day practicing social interactions and functional skills such as riding the bus, purchasing, banking, and cooking.

The teachers were nominated by the family of Andy Kovechar, a student who graduated from the program this year.  “We nominated this team because of the outstanding educational experience they provide to our son and his classmates, the incredible support they give to the families of the students, and the creativity and flexibility they use to individualize the program according to each student’s needs,” said Eileen Kochevar, Andy’s mother. “These teachers make us feel how much they care about our son and his success, and he has developed tremendously under their loving guidance.”

Shown left to right are Rosemary Lotts, Julie Demuth, Andy Kochevar, and Michelle Kelly. Courtesy photo.

The article and photo above were released by Los Alamitos Unified School District.