BCIU

Joyce Burkholder, center, with several transition coordinators of Berks County School Districts; Mary Mazzoni, educational consultant with the BCIU; Carl Blessing, BCIU assistant to the executive director; Michelle Reichard-Huff, BCIU director of the Office of Early Childhood and Student Services; Timothy Heffner, BCIU board president; and Dr. Jill Hackman, BCIU executive director.

The Berks County Intermediate Unit honored the nominees and recipient of the 2019 Annie Sullivan Award at a reception and award ceremony on April 3 at the BCIU Main Office Building, 1111 Commons Boulevard, Reading.

Colleagues, friends, and family gathered to recognize the outstanding service and dedication of individuals to the advocacy and well-being of students with disabilities.

Joyce Burkholder, youth employment coordinator, Goodwill Keystone Area-Employment Services, was named the recipient of the 2019 Annie Sullivan Award. 

Burkholder is one of nine educators nominated for this honor. She was nominated by the transition coordinators of Berks County School Districts and Mary Mazzoni, educational consultant with the BCIU. Burkholder works with students ages 16 to 21 with any type of disability who plan to work after graduation and require job coaching and assistance obtaining paid employment. One transition coordinator said, “Joyce believes in and respects every one of the young workers she supervises. Through her they learn to believe in and respect themselves.”

The 2019 Annie Sullivan Award nominees were:

• Cathy Hartman, accountant/transportation coordinator, Antietam School District

• Colleen Boyer, second grade regular education teacher, Governor Mifflin School District

• Sue Collier, seventh grade learning support teacher, Kutztown Area School District

• Donna Talis, reading teacher, Oley Valley School District

• John Reinhard, special education lead teacher/learning support, Reading School District

• Amanda Sharp, school psychologist, Twin Valley School District

• Tannen Summons, multiple disabilities teacher, Wilson School District

• Sharon Keppley, contracted board certified behavior analyst, Wyomissing Area School District

• Joyce Burkholder, youth employment coordinator, Goodwill Keystone Area-Employment Services

The Annie Sullivan Award is given in recognition of an individual who has worked to encourage the understanding and promotion of students with disabilities in his or her school or community. Annie Sullivan was Helen Keller’s devoted teacher and mentor who was nearly blind herself. After treatment, she regained her sight and committed herself to teaching the blind and deaf.

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