Sharon Copelenad, Teacher, Wilshire Elementary School, York District School Board.
By Trevor Ludski.
Sharon Copeland (nee Stein) received her Bachelor of Education from the University of Windsor in 1989 and has taught kindergarten, grade one and grade three. Sharon also studied at York University and spent a year studying, with her sister, at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel.
For the past six years, Sharon taught a primary autism class at Wilshire, supporting and developing the social, educational and communication skills of students with autism. While Sharon displays an exceptional ability to work with autistic children, most impressive is her commitment to integrating these children into a holistic learning environment that ensures that all children in the school have an understanding and sensitivity to children with special needs.
Sharon has been involved in fundraising for Autism Speaks, an international charity that raises funds for biomedical research, treatment and support for those who live with autism spectrum disorders. She contributed to the creation of Autism Speaks’ School and Community Tool Kit, which assists members of the school and community in understanding and supporting children with autism.
Sharon has been very fortunate to work with several phenomenal colleagues who have been an equal part of creating the type of classroom that leads to success for all children, and a principal, Mary Cousens, who encourages teachers to think “outside of the box” to best support children and their families. Sharon is married and is the proud mother of two daughters, ages 11 and 14.