Edna Black, a teacher for Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV’s Emotional Support program, recently was honored with the Annie Sullivan Award.
Black is the 26th recipient of the award named for Helen Keller’s teacher. The award was established by MIU IV’s Labor and Management Committee to recognize an educator who shows care, concern and skill in helping students with special needs gain acceptance in their schools and communities. She was nominated for this honor by her colleagues and handed the award by MIU IV’s Director of Special Education Toby Woodward.
Black serves as an emotional support teacher at the Greenville Community School. She instructs students in grades six through 12 in mathematics, history, emotional support and transition.
“I have had the good fortune to be Edna Black’s supervisor in two different Emotional Support segregated sites,” wrote her program supervisor, Camille Valenza-Hazelton. “In both settings, Mrs. Black was and is able to take command of her class while maintaining respect from her students. She moves her students academically and behaviorally forward. Her students adore her. But most importantly, in my book, Edna enjoys her students and the challenges that they afford her. She greets those challenges with a smile.”
Black’s colleague Robert Massella, also an ES teacher, said, “Edna is a very dedicated teacher who works hard to convey the importance that education can have in her students lives. She is a caring teacher and creates a stable, fair and accepting environment which allows students the opportunity to grow academically and emotionally. Her fair and consistent approach to daily classroom management has established a place for students to grow as individuals.”
Black received her undergraduate degree from Clarion University and attended Penn State for graduate work. She lives in New Castle, Pa., with her husband, David. Her son Brian is a graduate of Slippery Rock University in exercise science. Her daughter Megan is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh in finance and accounting.