Our Golden Apple Award winner found a way to reach a young man's heart and she's had a positive impact on the whole family. Tonight we surprise Barbara Stacy at the Lois E. Bird School of Monroe Number One Boces.
Bertha Houston asked us to recognize a teacher who has been a big help with her son Jalen. He's 15 years old and is autistic and mildly mentally retarded.
Barbara Stacy was Jalen's Special Education teacher for three years at Willink Middle School in Webster. She now teaches in the Lois E. Bird School at Monroe Number One BOCES.
Bertha says "Jalen now speaks proper English language. He didn't used to talk in long, full sentences. He's very friendly toward people, he used to be standoffish. Now he'll go out and play with kids on our street where he used to keep to himself."
Jalen's love for Mrs. Stacy is obvious. "She's really nice, I like that a lot. She teaches me a lot of things."
Barbara has given Jalen a brighter future and his Mom peace of mind. And for that, they asked us to say thank you.
Mrs. Stacy left teaching to raise her children. Barbara came back when her kids got older. Principal Cyndi Lembo is glad she did. "She is very kind, caring and knows what the children need. And she takes the time to figure out what do they need and how to get it there for them."
Barbara says it's nice that Jalen and Bertha remembered her. "It means so much. And I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart it's very thoughtful. He's changed in so many positive ways. And that's what's made my career so wonderful is working with students like Jalen. His language has really developed this past year. And it's been so nice to see him blossom."
Barbara Stacy is a News 8 Golden Apple Award winner. You can read the wonderful letter Bertha wrote to us nominating Mrs. Stacy below.
Dear Channel 8,
I am writing this letter on behalf of my 15 year old son Jalen who is Autistic and mildy retarded. Jalen and I had the pleasure of meeting Barbara Stacy in October of 2007 when she became his teacher. After attending the City School District's School No.45 for grades K-6, Jalen was reading at a 2nd grade level and had no social skills to speak of.
Don't get me wrong, he had some wonderful, loving teachers but they weren't Special Education Teachers. So at times they had no clue how to teach him. Every year was a true challenge because they really tried and I did all I could. But Jalen needed a teacher who was trained to teach children like him.
After his 6th grade year I was advised to try and get him into a school like BOCES. When his annual review came around (which is a meeting to decide what services he needed for the following year) I requested that Jalen be allowed to attend BOCES. The City School District agreed with me.
He started the school year in 2007 at the Frederick Douglas School until he could be placed in BOCES. Finally, in October we met Barbara Stacy.. Jalen was placed in her class at Willink Middle School in Webster. It's been three years and Jalen was with her the whole time. He has progressed academically and socially in a big way. Jalen now has life skills he never had before. He is more outgoing and he initiates conversation with other children. He also likes to cook his own meals.
I feel these things wouldn't be happening if it wasn't for the dedication of Barbara Stacy and the Teacher Assistants in her classroom. She goes above and beyond the call of duty. I think we need more teachers like her. She and I have stayed in constant contact via the phone and in letters.
Because she has so much compassion, my son Jalen Davis is truly thriving. My family is very grateful to her. Jalen has a new teacher this school year but we will stay in touch with Mrs. Stacy. Thank you Barbara Stacy for caring!