DARTMOUTH — Before the academic year came to a close, the Dartmouth Special Education Parent Advisory Council held its end of year celebration, which includes a ceremony to recognize folks for their impact on our students who receive special education services, organizers said. 

Each year, parents of students with special education needs nominate staff members & students who've gone above and beyond to assist their child during the school year, the council said in a news release. Parents submit the names and the reason why through a yearly satisfaction survey. 

One such nomination, the council said, was written about a middle school staff person. It reads, "She epitomizes a compilation of characteristics that include active listening, thinking on her feet, coming to work with an open heart and mind filled with empathy and enthusiasm. She has been a key change-maker toward my child's success and progress this year." 

Parent Kathleen Amaral noted in a news release, "It's really nice to acknowledge those who consistently make an impact in our children's lives. Often times, in Special Education, the focus is on the things that still need to be done, or goals that have yet to be met. 

"While that's important, it's equally important to recognize the effort and dedication that's put in." 

Here is the list of 2016/2017 SEPAC recognition award recipients: 

Dartmouth High School: 

(Impact in classroom) 

•William Hakeem 

•Sheri Houle 

(Impact with Unified Athletics) 

•Kristen Baptista 

•John Breault 

Dartmouth Middle School: 

•Sandra Fernandes 


•Darren Fleurent 


•Stephanie Melo 

•Lindsay Vavides 


•Mary Ann Lamarre (Cushman) 

•Julie Stenning (Cushman)  

Student Recognitions 

Dartmouth High: 

•Jake Nault 

•Peter Lenz 

Dartmouth Middle: 

•Cole Perry

 Officials said the Dartmouth SEPAC is known for collaboration within their district community. In the past it has raised funds to support Unified Athletics and purchased buddy benches for each elementary school to support friendship building, which aligns with Dartmouth's PBIS program. 

Next on the agenda? According to council co-chair, Marianne Santos: "Now we begin planning for our 5th annual Community Resource Fair that's scheduled for the fall."