2020 EC Educator of Excellence Announced
Each year, the N.C. Department of Public Instruction’s Exceptional Children Division honors an “Exceptional Children (EC) Educator of Excellence,” and the 2020 award for CHCCS goes to Ashley Hudson, speech-language pathologist (SLP).
The obstacles to offering equitable remote instruction can be numerous, and addressing those needs is more complex when serving students with disabilities. This year it seems especially important to spotlight the professional staff who are providing remote services to EC students. Hudson advocates for and supports students with disabilities at Smith Middle School and Glenwood Elementary School.
“Ashley is a leader among her peers, as she exemplifies a work ethic where no task is too big,” wrote the CHCCS EC Leadership Team in official recognition letter..”She will do whatever it takes to ensure success for any student. One of Ashley's best qualities is that she is truly a collaborator with all staff at her schools. Teachers across the building work well with her because she listens to their concerns and is creative with problem solving to help students progress toward their goals.”
This is Hudson’s ninth year, working at CHCCS. “During that time I have had the privilege of working with some incredible resource teachers, psychologists, SLPs, OTs, and classroom teachers,” said Hudson. “I have learned so much from them and from our students.”
Hudson has gained respect and acclaim as a leader and mentor, not only of other SLPs in CHCCS, but also in the wider North Carolina community through the board of the NC Speech, Hearing and Language Association (NCSHLA).
Among her many strengths, Hudson has achieved “expert” status in evaluating and treating students who stutter; her colleagues turn to Hudson for advice and collaboration with complicated stuttering cases. She is pursuing recognition as a Board-Recognized Specialist in fluency disorders (BRS-FD) from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).
Hudson’s caseload is nearly three dozen students, who she works with in virtual speech sessions. “What initially presented as a challenge has turned into a great learning opportunity,” she said. “Although virtual instruction has some limitations, it can also be very productive and engaging. One of the unexpected benefits of virtual instruction has been that it lends itself to collaboration with families. More than ever before, I get to talk with parents regularly (often on a weekly basis) to see how their child is progressing.
“Ashley is an exemplary educator who takes personal pride in supporting her students, co-workers, and parents to the best of her ability. We are honored to nominate her as our 2020 Exceptional Children Educator of Excellence,” wrote the EC Leadership Team.