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SEF News & Success Stories

Shining Stars of Special Education: SEF's 2024 Starfish Awards Honorees

On Thursday night, June 13, 2024, CITYPARK played host to an extraordinary event: the Special Education Foundation's Starfish Awards. The evening was filled with heartfelt recognition, inspiring speeches, and a celebration of the unsung heroes in special education across St. Louis County.

Our Starfish Award winners were celebrated in honor of the moving "Starfish Parable," a story that underscores the profound impact of making a difference, no matter how small. This tale of a young girl saving starfish by returning them to the sea perfectly captured the evening's spirit, emphasizing the importance of individual contributions in the lives of students with disabilities.

The Starfish Awardees represented various public school districts across St. Louis County, showcasing a diverse array of educators, administrators, and support staff who have made a significant impact on the lives of students served by the Special School District (SSD) of St. Louis County.

Kerry Bennett

Ladue Horton Watkins High School, Ladue School District

View Kerry’s Surprise!

Marsha Davidson

Green Pines Elementary School, Rockwood School District

View Marsha’s Surprise!

Katie Dowd

Oakville Senior High School, Mehlville School District

View Katie’s Surprise!

Kari Frazier

Barretts Elementary, Parkway School District

View Kari’s Surprise!

Mallory Hurt

Walker Elementary School, Hazelwood School District

View Mallory’s Surprise!

Dana Meinecke

North Glendale Elementary School, Kirkwood School District

View Dana’s Surprise!

David Peterson

North Tech High School, Special School District

View David’s Surprise!

Mary Reich-Hernandez

Michelle Obama ECAC, Riverview Gardens School District

View Mary’s Surprise!

The Starfish Awards served as a powerful reminder of the collective impact made by individuals in the special education community. The event celebrated not just our winners but also the spirit of compassion, dedication, and resilience that drives the Special Education Foundation’s mission.