NEWTON — A Gloucester resident has been honored for excellence in teaching students with visual impairments.
Janet Ulwick-Sacca received the 2011 CarrollKids Award from the Carroll Center for the Blind, an education and rehabilitation facility in Newton.
In honoring Mrs. Sacca, Dr. Karen Ross, director of education services at the Carroll Center, noted that she had been an "invaluable member of the Carroll Center education services department for the past seven years, providing direct services for students, sharing her expertise as a willing mentor for other teachers in the department, coordinating the development of curricula for the CarrollKids summer programs and supporting technology services to students in their local schools."
One of Mrs. Sacca's former students, Precious Perez of Chelsea, a visually-impaired eighth-grader Chelsea, praised her former teacher.
"She is one of the main reasons I stand where I am today - successful and independent in the regular world," Perez said. "Mrs. Sacca is an amazing, hardworking and intelligent lady who will always hold a special place in my heart."
Each year the CarrollKids Award recognizes one TVI who is licensed and employed in Massachusetts and has demonstrated substantial initiative and success in advancing the literacy skills of students with visual impairments. All nominations are reviewed by an impartial selection committee of regional and national representatives in the field.
"While Janet has traveled to many corners of the world, her influence right here in Massachusetts is unmistakable," Dr. Ross said at the award presentation ceremony. "She is highly regarded as one of finest TVIs ever to practice in New England and is sought after by schools, parents and colleagues as a consultant, evaluator, teacher and mentor."
A graduate of the University of Maine at Orono with a master's degree from Boston College, Sacca has worked as a teacher of students with visual impairment (Tvi) in multiple settings with students of all ages.
Sacca is a regional instructor at Utah State University where she trains professional teachers on methods for educating infants and pre-schoolers with visual impairments. Sacca has also contributed to national research projects in collaboration with the Center for Applied Special Technology in Massachusetts and Educational Testing Services in Princeton N.J.