Amanda Lessick of Brownsburg, Ind., was awarded the 2019 Student Member of the Year Award from the Indiana Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). Lessick, a Grace College senior pursuing dual licensure in elementary education and mild intervention, was presented the award at the Focus on Inclusion Conference on Mar. 11 in Indianapolis.
The CEC is a national professional association of educators that serves students with exceptionalities through advocacy, professional development, and training. The Indiana CEC awards a Student Member of the Year once annually to an outstanding special education college student who not only demonstrates proficient teaching skill, but surpasses expectations in student teaching and serves as a role model to students and colleagues.
Lessick said she was surprised and very honored to receive the award. “In my eyes, it’s more than an award — it is a reminder of the lives that Grace College CEC has been able to impact and the incredible opportunity I’ve had to be part of that.” She says spending time with individuals with disabilities has taught her much about life and relationships. “They are more loving, kind and accepting than I could ever be. They are brilliant people and give so much to others — they love without boundaries,” she said.
The CEC recognized Lessick for her role initiating an annual dress drive for the Tim Tebow Foundation’s Night to Shine event in Warsaw, Ind., and her work to host Transition Exploration Day at Grace College. Her academic success was also honored; Lessick earned a place on the Dean’s List each semester of college and was recently inducted into the Alpha Chi Honor Society for her academic achievement and high character.
“I am thrilled that Mandy received this award. She is a model of what the Grace College School of Education aspire our students to be: moral practitioners who embody character, competence, and service,” said Dr. Cheryl Bremer, chair of the Special Education Department at Grace College.
Lessick is currently student teaching at Leesburg Elementary School in Leesburg, Ind. Upon graduation in May, she hopes to work as a special education teacher in Indiana.
For more information about the Grace College School of Education, visit grace.edu or call 866-974-7223.