The Wall High School Peer Leaders were recognized in Princeton on Monday, May 12, 2014, by the New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA) through the 2014 Innovations in Special Education award program. The Peer Leaders Ability Awareness Collaboration with the Ladacin-Schroth School was one of 9 entries chosen out of 47 potential applicants from the entire State of New Jersey. The Wall High School Peer Leaders and Ladacin-Schroth School sent a delegation of 10 individuals to the event which included: students, parents, teachers/staff members, Board of Education members, and Wall High School Principal, Rose Sirchio. Governor Chris Christie, members of the New Jersey State Legislature, the Commissioner of Education, and other state officials were also invited to honor the Peer Leaders at this event.
The Ability Awareness Collaboration was viewed as a successful, creative effort that enables special education students to achieve their highest potential. Over the past two years, students from Ladacin-Schroth School have visited Wall High School as educational ambassadors by conducting “Abilities Awareness” training with the students. Wall High School Peer Leaders assisted the Ladacin-Schroth students with various social and sensory activities. This opportunity gave our students the ability to truly understand the importance of technology as a communication tools for individuals with disabilities. In addition, both the WHS Peer Leaders and the Ladacin-Schroth students were able to form a strong bond. This relationship between the students continued to foster when the Peer Leaders visited the Ladacin-Schroth School on several occasions to assist in the classroom setting, giving our students a greater understanding and compassion for those individuals with disabilities. The compassion and skills that our Peer Leaders have learned carry-over into the school setting through our Peer Buddy Program at Wall High School. A special thank you to our Wall High School Peer Leader advisers: Ms. Danielle Lucas and Mr. Ivan Goldenberg for all of their hard work and dedication to this educational program.