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Posted February 15, 2011

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APS Employee Receives Community Service Award

The Southwest Branch of The International Dyslexia Association has honored APS employee, Melissa Stotts with its Jane Blumenfeld Award. Stotts, an employee of APS for 34 years, is currently the district’s special education instructional manager.  The Jane Blumenfeld Award is given annually to an individual in the community who has consistently demonstrated outstanding service and advocacy to learning and disabled children and adults.

Stotts has worked as a general education classroom teacher in the primary grades, APS/UNM clinical supervisor, curriculum department district resource teacher, Title 1 reading specialist, and instructional manager for Special Education Department’s Reading and Learning Disabilities Unit.

Stotts has long advocated for rigorous, evidence-based reading instruction in the public schools. In order to meet the needs of students, she sought out private training at the Multisensory Training Language Institute of New Mexico in Albuquerque. In addition, she included various multisensory instructional programs in her classroom instruction.

For the past seven years, she has been a special education district administrator managing the Reading and Learning Disabilities Unit. This unit provides professional development to general education and special education teachers in several multisensory structured language programs. This school year 624 general education teachers will be trained and 1,682 special education teachers will be trained and supported through ongoing coaching.

Stotts served on the board of Southwest Branch of The International Dyslexia Association from 1998-2003. During that time she spearheaded the initiative that led to the Dyslexia Memorial of 2000 and served as the branch’s vice-president from 2001-2003. In the 2010 Legislative Session, Stotts again worked toward the passage of the dyslexia intervention bill.