We Salute Our Staff and Community Members

  • Special School District has a long history of celebrating outstanding teachers, paraprofessionals, community members, support/operations staff, and administrators who stand out for their tremendous work in helping our students succeed. Recipients of these awards will be honored at the Salute to SSD event on April 17, 2024.

    If you know an SSD employee or a community member deserving of an award, please consider nominating them.

    EXTENDED DEADLINE: The deadline to nominate someone for any of the Salutes awards is 8 AM on Jan. 15, 2024.

    Distinguished Leadership Award

    The SSD Distinguished Leadership Award was established in 2022-23. It was created to recognize administrators whose work has demonstrated an extraordinary level of commitment to SSD students, staff, families, and the community, as outlined in the District's mission. 

    The award will be presented to three administratorsOne award winner will come from each of the following areas:

    • SSD Administrators Working in Partner Districts: This administrator will work for SSD in one of the partner districts. The category includes directors, assistant directors, SPED coordinators, and instructional coaches.
    • Non-SSD Administrators Working for Partner Districts: This administrator will be employed by one of the partner districts and will be a champion of SSD's students and staff. The category includes principals, assistant principals, liaisons (assistant superintendents), and curriculum directors/coordinators.
    • SSD Administrators Working in SSD: This administrator will be employed by SSD and work on one of the SSD campuses or satellite locations. This category includes chiefs, assistant chiefs, directors, assistant directors, administrators, managers, and coordinators.

    The nomination deadline is Jan. 15, 2024. Open a Distinguished Leadership Award nomination form here.


    Key to the Classroom Award

    The Key to the Classroom Award recognizes the achievements of SSD classroom teachers who have demonstrated exceptional skill, dedication, and learning success with students. The qualities sought in teachers for this award reflect those required for Missouri Teacher of the Year. These teachers are often the key to learning for their students and are resourceful in finding ways to reach students of all abilities and backgrounds. They are often ambassadors for their school or district in the community, as well.  

    The nomination deadline is Jan. 15, 2024. Open a nomination Key to the Classroom Award form here.

    Building Block Award

    The Building Block Award recognizes paraprofessionals from around the District who show outstanding skill and dedication to SSD students. Paraprofessionals include teacher assistants, teacher aides, certified occupational therapy assistants, and physical therapy assistants. Their work is like an essential block in a larger structure, built by many hands and shaped by many talents.

    The nomination deadline is Jan. 15, 2024. Open a Building Block Award nomination form here.

    Lasting Impression Award

    The Lasting Impression Award recognizes SSD staff whose work has made a positive impact on SSD in ways that are not directly associated with student support. These staff members are often people whose work is done either outside the classroom or as support for teachers, counselors, and therapists. Much like a leaf can create an imprint on stone, their contributions can leave a lasting impression that shows how much they care about the District and its mission.

    Candidates for this award are part of the team of professionals that includes: administrative professionals, administrators, audiologists, bus drivers and aides, equipment modifiers/fabricators, homebound staff, occupational therapists, physical therapists, school psychologists, sign language interpreters, social workers, Special Non-Public Access staff, speech/language pathologists and other operations or support staff. 

    The nomination deadline is Jan. 15, 2024. Open a Lasting Impression Award nomination form here.

    Special Ambassador Award

    The Special Ambassador Award is the highest recognition given by SSD. The award is presented to community members (or in special circumstances, SSD staff members) who have demonstrated an extraordinary level of commitment to SSD and its mission. Recipients of this award can be compared to the beachcomber who returns stranded starfish to the sea where they will thrive, in spite of the advice from others that he will never gather them all. He agrees but adds that for those he has managed to gather, he has made an important difference. 

    This award is designed to recognize individuals as well as groups and organizations. Recipients may include educators in other school districts (and sometimes SSD staff - see Guidelines below), employees of local agencies that support SSD students, or volunteers in SSD schools or classrooms.

    The nomination deadline is Jan. 15, 2024. Open a Special Ambassador Award nomination form here.


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