The Colorado Council for Learning Disabilities (CCLD) has a proud history. Founded by pioneers in the field of special education, its early members were passionate about serving persons with learning disabilities and providing professional-development opportunities for educators in the field. The CCLD scholarship has been created to support the new pioneers who are completing teacher preparation programs in Colorado and entering the field at a time when the role of special education is being redefined and rewritten.


The Scholarship

Eligibility: The scholarship is open to Colorado residents currently enrolled in teacher preparation programs in an accredited college or university in Colorado. Applicants must be working towards a generalist license and have completed at least one half of their program plan of study. Applicants must have an overall-cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher and a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher in their Special Education coursework. The scholarship will be awarded to a student in a different institution of higher education each year to ensure representation throughout the state. For more information regarding our scholarships, contact Sabrina Raugutt.


2015 Tuition Scholarship Awards

The Colorado Council for Learning Disabilities is pleased to honor our 2015 scholarship recipients.

Megan Weaver
Megan Weaver will graduate from University of Colorado Denver (UCD) this spring with a master’s degree in special education. When asked to describe why she decided to pursue a degree in special education, Megan stated,

My interest in special education relates to my little brother. He was born with many needs including autism, bi polar tendencies, and other mental health related behavior issues. I have always had a passion for children and teaching, but it wasn’t until my brother graduated from high school that I decided I needed to be more than just a general education teacher; I wanted to become a special education teacher. Being a special education teacher means putting others first and becoming an advocate and voice for students who do not have self-advocacy skills.

Dr. John Cumming, an instructor at UCD said of Megan,

Megan was by far one of the most successful students I have ever had in any of my educational research methods courses. She has the ability to take complicated theoretical research concepts and not only apply them to her work as an educator, but to also explain them in non-technical terms to stakeholders and even her peers.” She is a successful student because she not only has the drive and determination to complete demanding coursework, but she also has the passion for working with children and their families.

The CCLD Board is honored to recognize Megan as a 2015 scholarship recipient.

Cassondra Al Mouradi
Cassondra Al Mouradi is completing her degree in special education at Metropolitan State University. Cassandra reflects about her passion for working with students with disabilities in her autobiography.

It became clear that diverse learners need far more than just academic support, they need strategies that will help them best succeed in the classroom and beyond - accessibility and advocacy. These two strategies are imperative because of the many injustices people with disabilities often experience usually due to unawareness. This lack of mindfulness regarding the needs of people with learning and developmental disabilities has influenced me to educate myself and those around me about the beauty of differences and the cruelty of indifference. This has truly become my life’s work. I have found that the best way to combat ignorance is through empathy and, while I may not have a learning disability, I can empathize and, therefore, learn. This isn’t just a job or a career; I need the journey in education and my future students far more than they need me. I aspire to, and am confident that I can become that difference.

Kerry Warner, site supervisor, remarks about Cassondra,

She has great respect and empathy for children with disabilities and demonstrates it in her daily activities. She has been successful in both creating and teaching academic skills and tasks, as well responding to difficult behaviors.

Dr. Barb McKenzie comments,

Some students understand theory but have difficulty generalizing theory into practice; this is an area in which Cassondra excels. Cassondra is an amazing collaborator who has the needs of students with disabilities at the forefront of all decisions.

The CCLD Board is honored to recognize Cassondra as a 2015 scholarship recipient.


2014 Tuition Scholarship Awards

Two outstanding students, Sheena Renninger and Ally Garcia were awarded CCLD Tuition Scholarships of $1500 each at the February Math on the Planes (MOP) Conference, February 22, 2014. These awards were funded by proceeds from the MOP conference.

Sheena Renninger
Sheena Renninger is currently enrolled in a graduate program at the University of Colorado Denver. Sheena reflects, I chose to enter the field of special education because of the progress that has been made in the field thus far and my passion to be part of the future. I entered this profession to be both an advocate for my students and for the field of special education.

Sheena’s professors recognize the unique talents she brings to the classroom. Judy Weaver, Site Professor, commented,

Sheena demonstrates her knowledge of curriculum in her planning each day. She focuses on district, state, and school standards and she understands that assessment results drive instruction.

Gina Quintana remarks,

Sheena understands and genuinely abides by the philosophy of the presumption of competence.

The CCLD Board is honored to recognize Sheena as a 2014 scholarship recipient.

Ally Garcia
Ally Garcia is in the process of completing a Master’s degree at Metropolitan State University. Ally finds inspiration in the quote, The two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why. She discovered the why when she was sixteen: My passion for special needs children is apparent because it defines me in part. My intent is to build a foundation of knowledge on which I might construct solid teaching. . .

Dr. Barbara McKenzie remarks,

She is an amazing collaborator who has the interests of students with disabilities at the forefront of all decisions.

Katie Lents, a supervisor at the Denver School for Science and Technology describes Ally’s skills in the following statement:

She is able to be a direct teacher, a trainer/coach on children’s programs, one who communicates with parents, shares her knowledge with volunteers, and takes time to teach and educate typical peers on relationships and friendships with children with disabilities.

Ally plans to receive an Applied Behavioral Analysis Certification, earn a Doctoral degree in Educational Leadership, followed by a Juris Doctorate in Disability Law.

The CCLD Board is also honored to recognize Ally as a 2014 scholarship recipient.


2013 Tuition Scholarship Awards

Two outstanding UCCS students, Michelle Freddolino and Olivia Latendresse, were awarded CCLD Tuition Scholarships of $1500 each at the February Math on the Planes (MOP) Conference. The awards were presented on February 23, 2013 and funded by proceeds from the MOP conference.

Michelle Freddolino
When asked What makes an effective teacher for students with learning disabilities? Michelle wrote:

She builds confidence by turning individual strengths into learning tools. She teaches her students to think critically and inferentially. No matter the specific disability of her students, an effective teacher must empower her students with the desire to understand so that they can ask themselves: Does this make sense? and then use the strategies to be successful.

Michelle receives praise from her professors at UCCS for her insight, thoughtfulness, energy and sincerity.

Olivia Latendresse
In her letter of recommendation for Olivia, Dr. Elaine Cheesman writes:

In my estimation, Olivia is one of the top ten students I have had the pleasure of working with in my 12 years as a university professor and 20 years providing teacher professional development courses in reading and writing for students with learning disabilities.

Olivia writes that an effective teacher for students with learning disabilities has the qualities of patience, compassion and respect. She says:

Respect is a crucial characteristic of an effective teacher . . . Respect establishes a classroom culture that facilitates learning and allows everyone to feel welcome and appreciated.

The Colorado Council for Learning Disabilities was honored to present the Tuition Scholarship Awards to these fine recipients.


2012 Tuition Scholarship Awards

The Colorado Council for Learning Disabilities (CCLD) is honored to award two Tuition Scholarships totaling $3,000.00. Recipient selection is based on high academic achievement and recognition by professors and site supervisors of an in-depth understanding of pedagogical content knowledge. Each teacher candidate has shown an outstanding ability to develop rapport with students and to work collaboratively with other professionals. Additionally, recipients are strongly committed to supporting persons with learning disabilities as well as all other students who struggle academically. In addition to the $1,500.00 award, each recipient receives a one-year membership renewal to CCLD and CLD. This year’s recipients are attending the Math on the Planes Conference February 24-25 as guests of CCLD.

Terese Hutchins is finishing her Master’s degree at University of Colorado Denver.

Dr. Donna Sobel comments in her letter of recommendation for Terese, It is obvious she loves the day-to-day interactions with students and staff. Students gravitate to her due to a genuine sense of rapport. Ms. Hutchins is keenly aware of the value of planning for the unique needs and backgrounds of her learners and this is consistently evident in her instructional practices.

Elisabeth O’Brien is currently enrolled at Metropolitan State College and she is the current president of the student chapter for CEC/CLD.

Dr. Diane Carroll states in a letter of recommendation for Elisabeth, She has a strong commitment to the field of education and her dedication to students is remarkable. She demonstrates professionalism, collegiality, and diligence.


2011 Scholarship Recipient: Angela Lane

CCLD is honored to award its 2011 Tuition Scholarship to Angela Lane. Angela has been in the field of education for 16 years. She first worked as a preschool teacher in a private school before spending two years as a special education paraprofessional. After obtaining her degree in elementary education, she began teaching at Summit Elementary School in Woodland Park School District. Angela is currently completing course work for a Masters degree in special education at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

As the parent of a student with special needs, Angela truly understands what it means to be an effective teacher for students with learning disabilities. She writes, “Having the background knowledge and an understanding of the daily struggles that a child with a learning disability must face each day is the foundation of effective instruction and intervention.”

Eric Owens, Summit Elementary School Principal, supports Angela’s application with the following comment:

“In the school setting, Ms. Lane is recognized by her peers as a leader both within her grade level and throughout the building due to her knowledge and understanding of instructional strategies, and the ability to work equally effectively with students and peers. She has the ability to identify student academic, behavioral and emotional needs and adapt and develop her instruction to most effectively meet those needs.”

We congratulate Angela as this year’s scholarship recipient. Angela will receive $1,500.00 and a one-year student membership to CLD.