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Oak Park teacher is FL Council for Exceptional Children Teacher of the Year | News

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Oak Park teacher is FL Council for Exceptional Children Teacher of the Year
News, People, Schools
Oak Park teacher is FL Council for Exceptional Children Teacher of the Year

Sarasota County, Florida -- An Oak Park School teacher who works with high school and adult students with special needs has been named the Florida Council for Exceptional Children Teacher of the Year. Helen Pastore received the recognition at this year’s state conference Oct. 17-19 in St. Petersburg. She will represent Florida and compete for the national Teacher of the Year title at the CEC Convention and Expo scheduled for April 8-11, 2015, in San Diego.      

Many of Pastore’s students have autism; her goal is to “bring the world” to them. She was the founder of the We-Work Lab, a campus-based work program for students to learn work skills.  Her class also decorates bags for a local yarn shop and learning to create other products with the help of a recently donated loom.

Pastore has led the Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops at Oak Park, are two of the only special needs Scout troops in the State of Florida.

“Helen has always readily welcomed new challenges and is one busy lady,” said Elizabeth Lewis, a fellow Oak Park teacher who serves as president of the Sunset Chapter of CEC (Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto counties). “She is Oak Park’s professional development coordinator and treasurer of our local CEC chapter. She also was our chapter’s 2012-13 Teacher of the Year. She is also working on her master’s degree. Sarasota County and the state of Florida have a wonderful teacher representative in Helen Pastore!”

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