Martin, Myers receive SELPA honors

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Two Winters residents were recognized among 21 Yolo County recipients for their work and contributions to individuals with special needs at a 2022 awards ceremony at the Yolo County Office of Education in Woodland.

On May 9, the Yolo County Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) Community Advisory Committee honored the 21 recipients. ​​The annual SELPA award ceremony seeks to recognize individuals for providing outstanding service to children or adults with special needs in Yolo County. Award recipients may be school employees, parents, volunteers, students or local agency professionals.

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Tawnya Martin (right) and Jenny Pinedo at the annual SELPA awards ceremony on May 9. (Courtesy photo)

Tawnya Martin, Administrative Assistant for Education Services at Winters Joint Unified School District, was recognized for her contributions. Martin has been in her current role at Winters JUDS for six year. Her job as administrative assistant includes supporting the school district’s Special Education Department.

Jenny Pinedo, Director of Special Education & Student Services, said Martin works hard to ensure that all Special Education staff have what they need in order to provide services to Winters students with disabilities.

“She is constantly available to answer questions about service delivery, resources available, Individualized Education Program (IEP) paperwork, and supports both new and veteran teachers in making sure that IEPs are held on time,” Pinedo said.

Pinedo credited Martin in the creation of organizational systems to help teachers hold IEP meetings on time, know what paperwork is needed for each individual meeting and to ensure teachers have what they need to support parents throughout their experience in the special education community.

“Tawnya’s passion for supporting some of our most vulnerable learners, our scholars with disabilities, is inspiring and heartwarming. She is empathetic, and can always be counted on to provide care and support to scholars, staff, and families,” Pinedo said.

Martin works to ensure that all Winters families have the support they need, either from supporting directly or connecting with others. Pinedo said Martin has “such a wonderful way of making parents feel cared for and heard.”

“She truly believes that one of the best ways we can support our scholars with disabilities is to support those around them, including their family. Parents have often called with questions about the process and Tawnya gladly takes those calls and helps parents feel heard and understand the process. When she does not have the answers parents might need, she will work hard to learn what is needed to support, or will connect the family with the support they need,” Pinedo said.

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Jennifer Myers was recognized at the annual
SELPA awards for her efforts in the Esparto school district. (Courtesy photo)

Jennifer Myers, a Speech and Language Pathologist at Esparto Elementary School, was also honored with a SELPA award.

Myers has been working in Esparto Unified School District for seven years. She has also contributed her knowledge and experience with many families in Winters.

“I am humbled by this recognition. I absolutely love what I do,” Myers said. “I am grateful to have the opportunity to keep doing what I love for our students. This award was very much the icing on the cake.”

Paul Bridge, chair of the Community Advisory Committee, said “the awards ceremony is an opportunity for the entire community to acknowledge individuals who have given extraordinary effort to support students with disabilities in our school districts.”

Awardees received Certificates of Achievement provided by Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry and Senator Bill Dodd.

The Community Advisory Committee is an organization of parents, educators and community members representing the five school districts in Yolo County and YCOE. The advisory committee provides community awareness projects on special education, in-service training for parents, and provides input on the Yolo County SELPA Local Plan. Meetings are open to the public.

For the full list of recipients, or to learn more information, visit the Yolo County SELPA website at www.ycoe.org/selpa.

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