In recognition of World Down Syndrome Day on March 21, the Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan (DSAWM) recognized and honor Lauren Bostic, kindergarten teacher at Creative Technologies Academy (CTA) in Cedar Springs, with West Michigan’s Educator of the Year Award.
“We are thrilled to present this award to Lauren. Her commitment to serving the needs of her students is exemplified both in and out of the classroom, said Executive Director of DSAWM, Melissa Werkman. “Focused on recognizing teachers who include students with Down syndrome in learning opportunities in classrooms with typically developing peers, enhancing the lives of students through educational practices and serving as role models for their fellow educators, this award was initiated to bring attention to the many teachers in our service area, such as Lauren, who work tirelessly every day to improve the learning environment for students with special needs.”
Katie Merritt, whose seven-year-old daughter, Adyson, has Down syndrome and has been in Lauren’s class for two years, nominated Bostic. In her nomination, she shared that Bostic takes the time to learn methods that the different therapists are using and incorporates those for her entire class to use. For instance, her students do not always stand in a straight line and walk to their destination, but instead, they incorporate various gross motor skills and walk like a bear or a crab in order to use different muscles and complement what the therapists are doing. Merritt also noted the extra attention Lauren invested during the summer by continuing to meet with Adyson on a regular basis.
“We all know our children hold amazing potential, but without the help of great teachers and staff, that potential can never be achieved. We are so thankful for everything that Miss Bostic, Mrs. VanEnk and all the staff at CTA have done to support our children,” commented Merritt.
CTA held a presentation on March 21 for its kindergarten through eighth grade students to recognize Lauren and also to bring awareness to Down syndrome.
“Miss Bostic has been a dedicated teacher at Creative Technologies Academy since 2008. Her compassion and skills in working with young children are phenomenal,” said Dan George, CTA Superintendent. “She has a wonderful ability to work with students with special needs and she is devoted to helping her students succeed to their maximum ability.”