Kostoff has taught the special needs pre-school class since its inception in December 1996 and has taught an extended day kindergarten class for the past five years.
To speak to Kostoff’s impact on students and their families, a student from her first special needs preschool class attended the meeting, and Board Member Nick Uecker read a letter written by the student’s parents.
Mitchell Sarrazin, son of Tracy and Melissa Sarrazin, attended Kostoff’s preschool class until he was ready to advance through elementary school. With the help of Kostoff and others in the special education department at SGCS, Mitchell now plans to graduate with the Class of 2011 and hopes to obtain a Core 40 diploma. Mitchell has plans to attend Ivy Tech after high school to earn a degree in Landscape Design. In October, he will be starting his own business called “Sarrazin Scapes”—offering lawn care, mowing, yard clean-up and other yard services.
“Without the special needs program that was offered to Mitchell these last 13 years,” his parents noted, “we feel Mitchell would have fallen through the cracks and would not be where he is now.”
Mitchell’s father, Tracy, said he felt the special education program at SGCS needed to be recognized and that is why he wrote Superintendent Steve Darnell the letter documenting Mitchell’s progress and promise for the future.
Cindy Kostoff was nominated by her fellow teachers and is described as “a teacher who acknowledges and embraces individual differences and celebrates growth and progress no matter how great or small,” according to a letter read by CES Principal Shellie Miller.
Kostoff was recently appointed to the Indiana Professional Standards Board by the Indiana State Superintendent, Dr. Tony Bennett.
In other Board news:
• The Board accepted the Arts Partnership Grant in the amount of $3,000 from the DEKKO Foundation. Sue Lough applied for the grant and will use the monies to stimulate all students’ development in the elementary building by involving them actively in some type of creative process, which is yet to be determined.
• The Board unanimously approved Policy 5722 regarding School-Sponsored Student Publications and Productions. The Board discussed the new policy at the previous meeting. The new policy takes a conservative approach towards student publications and productions.
The next regular scheduled School Board meeting will be Monday, October 18 at 7 p.m. in the Administrative Building.