Third annual awards program recognizes team members’ commitment to special and alternative education students

PHILADELPHIA, May 28, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Specialized Education Services, Inc. (SESI), a division of FullBloom, a premier provider of education services for K-12 students who require additional educational and positive behavioral supports to overcome challenges that impede success in a traditional school setting, today broadly announced Shannon Searles as its 2024 Teacher of the Year and Anjel Green as its 2024 Staff of the Year.

The annual program honors teachers and full-time employees, including teachers, social workers, behavior specialists and paraprofessionals staff, who exemplify high-quality, evidence-based instruction and the importance of equitable education for all SESI students. New this year, all clinical staff roles were eligible for staff of the year nomination.

“It is with great pride that we honor Shannon and Anjel, the divisional, regional and campus level winners, and all nominees, for their extraordinary level of dedication to supporting all students,” said Thomas. “These exceptional educators and staff embody our mission to guide students toward success in and out of the classroom. They shine a positive light on every child, passionately advocating for the unique learner within.”

With more than 2,800 educators and staff members at almost 200 standalone schools and in-district classrooms serving more than 7,000 students with diverse academic, behavioral and social-emotional learning needs, SESI is one of the largest employers of teachers nationwide. Searles and Green were selected, along with campus, regional and divisional winners, by a SESI leadership committee.

Searles is a special education teacher at an in-district classroom serving students in Hamden, Connecticut. In earning the award, she said she recognizes that learning and education looks different from student to student based on their individual needs.

“I am honored to be named Teacher of the Year,” said Searles. “My colleagues across SESI come to work every day with a mission to support our students holistically and we take this responsibility seriously. It is an incredibly proud moment for me to be recognized for my dedication to my students.”

Green, a middle school team leader at the Academies at Hamilton in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, felt her commitment to helping students make progress academically and behaviorally made her a standout choice for Staff of the Year.

“I’m beaming about being recognized as Staff of the Year,” said Green. “I truly believe that working with youth is my purpose and over the years it has become my passion to see my students flourish. Whether it is our first day meeting or when they have transitioned into adulthood, my students – present and past – know I am always there to support them.”

The goals of SESI’s Staff and Teacher of the Year program include enhancing the visibility and importance of supporting educators, promoting the value of quality education and learning for the future, recognizing and honoring educators and staff who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and excellence, and building an effective professional learning community.

Teachers and staff had to meet minimum criteria to be eligible, including having been employed by SESI as of Sept. 1, 2023; teaching a minimum of a 75% of the school day; and earning an advanced level rating on last observation. Bonus points were given for community service activities, school community activity (led special projects, etc.) and mentoring of other staff members.

To learn more about SESI’s Staff and Teacher of the Year program and to see the full list of divisional, regional and campus winners, visit:

About Specialized Education Services, Inc.
Specialized Education Services, Inc. (SESI), a division of FullBloom, is a premier provider of education services for K-12 students who require additional educational and behavioral supports to overcome challenges that impede success in a traditional school setting. SESI partners with school districts to run classrooms, on-site, within district boundaries and standalone schools that meet the academic, behavioral, and social-emotional needs of special education students with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Emotional Disabilities, Learning Disabilities, and other challenges. Partnering with over 600 school districts nationwide, SESI serves more than 7,000 students in day schools and in-district classrooms. SESI is accredited by Cognia.