A student and parent with Canyons District ties have received awards from the Council for Exceptional Children, an organization for teachers and staff who work in Special Education.
Andrew Mutters, a student in the Canyons Transition Academy, was awarded the Utah "Yes, I Can" award in the area of "Independent Living/Employment."
Mutters, who is in his second year of work with the Transition Academy, plans to graduate from high school in May. He wants to pursue his dream of going to college and becoming a science teacher.
This year, he’s worked as an aide in Gavin Hawkley's science classes at Mount Jordan Middle School — a job he enjoys and takes very seriously. He helps Hawkley manage the class and often chips in with information to help students. View the following video of Andrew's reaction to the award and his reflections on education.
“I never thought I would see the day that Andrew would have the confidence to stand in front of a class and give a presentation, let alone repeat that presentation over the course of two days,” said the teacher who nominated Mutters for the award. “There is no doubt that Andrew has exceeded everyone’s hopes and imaginations by changing two little words in his vocabulary of ‘I can’t’ to ‘I can.’”
Parent Melanie Lambert was given the “Special Education Parent of the Year" Award. She was given the honor for her tireless advocacy for her son Dane, who attended Park Lane, Eastmont Middle and Jordan High.
“Through Melanie’s tireless efforts to educate people about the abilities of people with exceptionalities and the strength of their community friends, Dane’s involvement in his neighborhood schools continued through junior high and high school with involvement in the school sprit squad, football and other activities,” says CSD employee Tana Allred, who nominated Lambert for the award. “Dane has always belonged to his community. Because it is such a genuine bond that has existed since childhood, they honestly feel he gives as much as he gets.”
The awards were presented at a banquet in March.