Shelli Speakman (right) is pictured with Barbara Leman, Office Manager for the Down Syndrome Association of Central Ohio.
Wilder Elementary School educator Shelli Speakman was surprised on October 11 when, during a meeting, Barbara Leman, office manager for the Down Syndrome Association of Central Ohio (DSACO), showed up to present her with an award. Speakman was recognized as an “EXTRAordinary” Buddy Walk volunteer, who recently celebrated her 10th year as registration coordinator for the event. She first became involved after attending in support of one of her students. This year the Buddy Walk hosted more than 12,000 individuals with Down Syndrome and their loved ones, and raised approximately $525,000 to support programs and projects for DSACO. According to Leman, Speakman is “the voice of reason and craziness on Buddy Walk day. She arrives in her ‘blinged out’ Buddy Walk T-shirt that attendees have come to expect year after year.”
At Wilder, Speakman serves as an intervention specialist for children with multiple disabilities. She is also a Summer Academy Teacher, a member of the Education Committee, and an Education Liaison for parents trying to navigate the special education world.