State group honors RNeSU special education head

Marsha has always leaned in to whatever challenge faced a team on behalf of a child … She is a leader among leaders.
— Superintendent Jeanne Collins

BRANDON — Rutland Northeast Supervisory Union Special Services Director Marsha Bruce has been honored with a state award for her work in education.

The Vermont Council of Special Education Administrators (VCSEA) announced on May 20 that Bruce has been awarded the Gail Lynk Award, the top Vermont prize for work in special education.

Lynk was a special education administrator for many years in Addison Northwest Supervisory Union. This award recognizes exemplary effort and achievement on behalf of Vermont children with special needs. This award is presented by VCSEA to a Special Education Administrator who demonstrates the pursuit of excellence in the field of Special Education.

Bruce was surprised with a special ceremony at Otter Valley Union High School on May 20. On hand to present the award was Jo-Anne Unruh, VCSEA Executive and retired Special Education director.

“The towns of RNESU hold a very special place in my heart and it has been my pleasure to serve them for the past 21 years,” Bruce said in receiving the honor. “I have the fortune of working with caring school board members and citizens who support RNESU programs, services and supports, as well as remarkable teams of individuals who bring life to all of our programs, services, and supports each and every day for our families and children.

“It is because of all of our commitment and hard work that I am able to ‘shine’! I am extremely honored and thrilled to receive the VCSEA Gail Lynk Award. Thank you all so very, very, much!”

In the many letters of support for Bruce’s nomination, stories of her impact on students with special needs and their families were heartwarming, the VCSEA staff reported.

“Marsha believes in each and every student’s right to benefit from first instruction, engage in meaningful social exchange and become a valued member of their school community,” wrote members of the RNeSU administration. “The easiest thing to say is Marsha sees possibilities, not barriers.”

“She does the work needed to give others the tools needed to meet expectations, supports them throughout, and trusts them as professionals” wrote members of the RNeSU staff.

RNeSU Superintendent Jeanne Collins said Bruce is a strong leader and takes challenges head on.

“I am excited that Marsha is being recognized in this way,” Collins said. “Marsha has always leaned in to whatever challenge faced a team on behalf of a child and she is constantly sought out in district and by colleagues in the state for her expertise and solution-based competence. Many times, I have watched her reach out to parents and team members individually in order to facilitate a solution that is best for a child. She is a leader among leaders.”

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