The Colorado Council for Learning Disabilities has awarded the distinguished 2013 Professional of the Year Award to Mark Semmler. Each year, the award is given for outstanding performance and commitment by a professional who works in the field of learning disabilities in a role outside of the classroom. Mark Semmler went on to compete for and was awarded the Floyd G. Hudson Outstanding Service Award. As the recipient of the Floyd G. Hudson Award, Mark will be recognized in October at the Council for Learning Disabilities International Conference in Austin, Texas.
2014 Nomination Forms
The 2013 Colorado Professional of the Year Award and
Floyd G. Hudson Outstanding Service Awards Recipient Mark Semmler
Mark was awarded the CCLD Colorado Professional of the Year Award. The CCLD board submitted his nomination to the Council for Learning Disabilities and he was then awarded the distinguished 2013 Floyd G. Hudson Outstanding Service Award. Each year, the award is given for outstanding performance and commitment by a professional who works in the field of learning disabilities in a role outside of the classroom. As the recipient of this national award, Mark will be recognized in October at the Council for Learning Disabilities International Conference in Austin, Texas.
Mark SemmlerMark serves as a special education coordinator for the Cherry Creek School District in Denver, Colorado. Mark partners with district math leaders to provide professional development in diagnostic assessment and research-based instructional practices for teachers who work with students who struggle with mathematics.
In addition to the impact Mark has within his district, he also works part time for the Colorado Department of Education, teaching online classes in math interventions and providing regional trainings in assessment and implementation of interventions within the framework of the Colorado Academic Standards.
Mark is an active member of the Colorado Metro Math Intervention Team (CoMMIT) whose purpose is to ensure that educators working with struggling learners, including those with disabilities, have the content knowledge and understanding to provide appropriate interventions. He also serves on the steering committee for the planning and carrying out of an effective statewide professional-development project (Math on the “Planes”), sponsored by the Colorado Council for Learning Disabilities in conjunction with CoMMIT, the Colorado Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and the Colorado Department of Education
Mark states that the goal of the services we provide is postsecondary success for our students. As the coordinator of the district’s Assistive Technology Team, he was instrumental in constructing assistive technology labs in each of the district’s 19 secondary schools. The technologies in these labs were selected with the input of area colleges and designed to replicate the experience a student has while attending college.
Claire Sabochik, a fellow special education coordinator, states, “Mark is revolutionizing mathematics instruction for students who struggle. Much like the contributions of Floyd G. Hudson, Mark’s work will have a lasting influence on special education professionals and on the lives of people with disabilities. Mark truly exemplifies the best of Special Education professionals in practice today!”
2013 CCLD Teacher of the Year Award
Icaro MardonesThe Colorado Council for Learning Disabilities is honored to recognize Icaro Mardones as the 2013 Teacher of the Year. Icaro is a special education teacher at Lincoln High School in Denver Public Schools.
Icaro Mardones constantly affirms and encourages his high school students. Throughout his social studies and science courses, he integrates technology, hands-on learning, and real world applications in his pervasive efforts to infuse his lessons with purpose and relevance. Teaching students of many different skill levels and behavioral issues, Mr. Mardones also reflects deeply regarding his efficacy as a teacher and modifies his instruction accordingly, as he seeks to help all of his students learn. As noted by his special education department chair in Denver Public Schools, Mr. Mardones’ “passion for the field does much to raise the level of the teaching environment.”
Mr. Mardones also strives to help all students learn; he advocates for them and establishes a safe and welcoming classroom atmosphere where all students are valued. One parent wrote about how painfully shy her daughter is and how Mr. Mardones’ patience and humor had resulted in her daughter actively participating in class. This parent also stated, “As a parent we want our kids to learn and be successful in life. Mr. Mardones cares for our kids and teaches them in a way that the kids with disabilities understand.”
For his passionate dedication to instruction and student learning, his advocacy for his students, his crafting of a safe and encouraging classroom environment for all students, and his deep and deliberate self-reflection regarding his instructional practices, the Colorado Council for Learning Disabilities is proud to announce Mr. Icaro Mardones, “Teacher of the Year.”