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VCASE Awards

Delivering Package

Mary Lou Wall Award 

Early Career Special Education Leadership

VCASE established the Mary Lou Wall Award in honor of our former VCASE Executive Director and Virginia special education leader, Mary Lou Wall.  Our aim is to recognize those exemplary early career leaders who are in their first 3 years of leading local division’s special education services.  VCASE developed this award to also promote our award winners to be considered nationally at the CASE annual conference, competing for the Gersch Award. The Gersch award recognizes early career special education leaders who exemplify five values:

1.    Heart- the passion to serve, nurture, and care

2.    Leadership by example

3.    Honesty

4.    Creative thinking

5.    Collaboration

2016- Sandy Thorpe, Harrisonburg City Public Schools

      *CASE Gersch Award Winner*

2017- Jennifer Waggener, Goochland County Public Schools

2018- Dr. Sandra Hedrick, Richmond County Public Schools

2019- Kristina Williams, Charles City County Schools

2020- Dr. Michelle Roper, Prince William County Public Schools

2021- Dr. George Hummer, Stafford County Public Schools 

Friends Of VCASE Award

The Friend of VCASE Award was created in 2005 to recognize and express appreciation to those individuals who have consistently provided extraordinary support in furthering the work of VCASE.


2005 - Dr. Pat Abrams, VDOE; H. Douglas Cox, VDOE; Kathy Mehfoud, ReedSmith

2006 - Dr. Judy Douglas, VDOE; Paul Raskopf, VDOE

2007 - Dr. Lori Korinek, The College of William and Mary; Dr. Lissa Power-deFur, Longwood University

2008 - Dr. James Brashears, VDOE; Dr. Kerry Lambert, Old Dominion University

2009 - Gerald Mathews, VDOE

2010 - Marie Ireland, VDOE; Tom Nash, Past President of VCASE

2011 - Melissa Smith, VDOE

2012 - Amy Edwards, VDOE; Dr. Sandra Ruffin, VDOE

2013 - Sally Chapel, James Madison T/TAC; Sue Land, William and Mary T/TAC

2014 - Patrick Adriano, Esq.; Jason Ballum, Esq

2015-  John Eisenberg, VDOE

2016- Pat Haynes, Esq., VDOE

2017- Kathy Harley, ReedSmith

2018- Dr. Thomas Smith, VASS

2019- Sandra Wilberger, VCU T/TAC

James T. Micklem Award of Outstanding Excellence

The award, initially called the VCASE Award of Excellence, was established in 1978 to recognize efforts made on behalf of exceptional children.  In 1988 it was renamed for James Micklem, the first State Director of Special Education, in recognition of his outstanding service and leadership.  The recipient must be a member in VCASE for a minimum of three years; hold a special education administrative or supervisory position within a Virginia public school; contributed to VCASE either through elected office or appointed position and activities; and made an impact on the education of exceptional children on the local, state or regional level.


1978 - James Micklem, Virginia Department of Education

1980 - Kurt Schleicher, Louisa County, Charlottesville, Virginia Beach Schools

1981 - Robert Roebuck, Virginia Department of Education

1982 - Sammy Shelton, Pittsylvania County Schools

1984 - Frank Sparks, Roanoke Schools

1987 - Ken Robinson, Prince George’s County Public Schools

1995 - Shirley Underwood, Norfolk Public Schools

1997 - In Memory of Gail Mayfield, Autism Specialist, Grafton School

2001 - Dr. Thomas Smith, Fluvanna County Public Schools

2002 - Linda Bradford, Virginia Department of Education

2004 - Dr. Mary Mehaffey, Newport News Schools

2005 - Judy Sorrell, Shenandoah Valley Regional Program

2006 - Marylou Wall, Alexandria City Public Schools

2007 - Dr. Sheila Bailey, Hopewell City Public Schools

2008 - Dr. Patricia Addison, Fairfax County Public Schools

       *Harry M. Selznick CASE Distinguished Service Award Winner*

2009 - Mary Kearney, Loudoun County Public Schools

2010 - Robert “Chip” Beylea, Shenandoah County Public Schools

2011 - Cindee Pletke, Campbell County Public Schools

2012 - Fran Goforth, Gloucester County Public Schools

2013 - Wyllys VanDerwerder, Lynchburg City Public Schools

2014 - Dr. Sheila Carr, King William County Public Schools

      *CASE Outstanding Special Education Administrator Award Winner*

2016- Sara Staton, Bedford County Public Schools

      *CASE Outstanding Special Education Administrator Award Winner*

2017- Dr. Sue Clark, Stafford County Public Schools

2018- Dr. Suzanne Jimenez, Loudoun County Public Schools

2019- Ann Bueche, King George County Public Schools

2020- Julie Baker, Botetourt County Public Schools

2021- Dr. Craig Pinello, Chesapeake City Public Schools

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