Two Mehlville students receive Special School District’s top honor

Melissa Myers

Melissa Myers

The Mehlville School District and Special School District, or SSD, announced this week that two Mehlville students have received the 2011 Rosemary Zander Award, SSD’s highest honor.

Each year, SSD — in conjunction with the Special Education Foundation — has the opportunity to salute the outstanding achievements of 23 students through the Rosemary Zander Award.

Students will be honored at the Commitment to Kids Banquet today — April 28 — at the St. Louis Marriott West.

Students are recognized for success in a range of categories – academics, arts, athletics, communications, vocational training, employment, independent living skills, community service and extracurricular activities.

The following Mehlville students received Rosemary Zander Awards this year:

• Melissa Myers

Melissa Myers is a textbook example of someone who has been successful while also giving back, according to a news release. Having received special education services for speech and language, Melissa has eagerly and faithfully worked hard to meet her goals, the release stated.

She currently holds a 3.7 GPA while she nears completion of the Homeland Security Program at South County Technical High School. Melissa also attends Mehlville High School where she is a founding member of the Mehlville Panther’s Friends Club, which provides after-school social activities for students with special needs.

Melissa is a cadet teacher in the area of English Concepts and provides outstanding support for the younger students as well as the classroom teacher. She volunteers in the Mehlville High School library and participates in TASK-an after-school sports activities program for individuals with special needs.

It is Melissa’s willingness to give of herself and her time to others with special needs, while also excelling in her own endeavors that make her a true inspiration to her teachers and her peers, the release stated.

• Abby Trimble

Abby is someone who has been able to meet every challenge put in front of her, the release stated.

As a young child, Abby overcame a bone disease that required two bone marrow transplants and resulted in near total blindness. When she arrived at her former early childhood building, she was a bit apprehensive about learning her way around. But it soon became obvious that Abby was a quick learner when it came to the skills she needed. Before long she gained techniques that allowed her to get around her school using a cane.

When she progressed to grade school, some wondered how she would transition to a bigger building with more students. Again, Abby took it in stride, quickly learning her way.

Since then, she’s moved to middle school and now high school, each time addressing concerns of a larger setting with hard work, and making it look easy.

But it is not just Abby’s orientation and mobility skills that make her so deserving of this award. She’s a talented student, outstanding vocalist who performs with the St. Louis Children’s Choir and Variety Club Choir and a truly good-humored individual.

Abby’s fun personality and drive to succeed make her deserving of this award.