SAISD's Trinity Prize nominee earns 2010 ExCEL award

SAISD's Trinity Prize nominee earns 2010 ExCEL award

Excel2010

Her work to improve the lives of special needs
children has earned Sarah Ford her second honor of
the year.

The 29-year veteran teacher was presented the
ExCEL award by sponsors KENS5 and the San
Antonio Federal Credit Union during an Oct. 5
assembly in her honor at Smith ES.

In addition to a golden apple trophy, Ford received
a $1,000 cash prize and will be featured in a KENS5
story.

"I am greatly honored to be recognized in such a
public domain because it allows me the opportunity
to spotlight the tremendous need for quality, early
childhood programs for children with special
needs," Ford said.

When nominating her last spring for the
Trinity Prize, principal Lianna Cano likened
Ford's success with autistic children to that of Annie
Sullivan, known as "The Miracle Worker" for
educating the acclaimed deafblind Helen Keller.

In 2008 Ford and the Smith campus were
selected to pioneer Gain Early Training to
Support Effective Transition – whose GET SET
acronym Ford coined and concept she and SAISD
Special Education Supervisor Donna Coyne
developed.

Through this 45-day diagnostic placement
program open to autistic 3- and 4-year-olds
Districtwide, Ford helps the children prepare for
special education classes at their home campuses,
and also spends half days working on learning
strategies with their parents to further ensure a
smooth transition.

"Serving these children and their families is a
blessing that I do not take for granted," she said.