Business, Education, Health

Two Maryland School for the Blind professionals honored with national awards

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BALTIMORE, MD—Two members of The Maryland School for the Blind staff are among the recipients of the 2022 Principals of Schools for the Blind (POSB) national award program.

POSB, a subdivision of the Council of Schools for the Blind, annually recognizes the contributions of remarkable individuals across the nation who work with blind or low-vision students. The nomination process is competitive, and principals from across the country select the winners.

Amanda Aaron, a resident of Baltimore City, was named the Outstanding Related Service Provider of the Blind and Visually Impaired, and Dontay Kelly, of Baltimore, was named the Outstanding Paraprofessional.

An Occupational Therapist at MSB for four years, Aaron is a multifaceted clinician, team-oriented instructor, and trusted resource to students and families throughout Maryland. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland in 2009 and a doctorate of OT from the University of Southern California in 2012. She also completed a low vision rehabilitation certificate from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2021.

Her professional peers nominated her for her passion for helping others and her internal drive to develop opportunities that educate students, school team members, and the community.

Kelly, a staff member at MSB since 2002, has served students in several capacities over his 17-year career at the school. Assisting teachers and therapists with developing individualized lesson plans and strategies that meet the unique needs of each student, he is passionate about helping students achieve independence. He is a 2001 graduate of Parkville High School. His ultimate goal is to become a teacher of the blind and visually impaired (TVI).

Among his nominations was by a parent who noted his dedication to assisting her son in educational advancement, ensuring his medical safety, and teaching him how to become more independent with life skills.

According to W. Robert Hair, MSB Superintendent, “We are fortunate to have Amanda and Dontay on our staff. They are both highly dedicated and talented individuals and are most deserving of this recognition. We are proud of their accomplishments and honored to have them represent our school nationally.”

The POSB awards were presented to the national winners at the Council of Schools for the Blind Institute in Louisville, KY, on October 4, 2022.

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