California special ed teacher receives a special award
Yana Gracile | March 31, 2014
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The California Teacher Corps, the statewide organization representing California’s alternative certification programs, today honored Allan Hallis with the 2014 Michael McKibbin Outstanding Educator of the Year Award during its fourth annual conference in Sacramento.
“You work really hard in the profession, so it’s nice to have some of that hard work be recognized by colleagues you admire,” Hallis told LA School Report. “It’s definitely a validation.”
A former sports journalist with the Los Angeles Times, Hallis is a Transition and Instructional Coach at the Intensive Diagnostic Education Centers.
IDEC, established by the Division of Special Education throughout the district, is a pilot reading program designed to provide intensive intervention for special education students who have not responded to traditional teaching strategies.
Hallis was actively involved in the growth of his district’s program, and he currently works closely with all 20 program sites across Los Angeles Unified, including four elementary schools, 12 middle schools, and four high schools.
The award honors an exemplary California educator who pursued teaching through an alternative certification program and is now serving in a high-need public school.
“I am deeply honored to accept this award,” Hallis said. “With the increased integration of educational technologies and strengthened commitments to the full inclusion of all students, it is an exciting time to be a teacher. I am proud to be counted as one of the thousands of dedicated educators who give their heart and soul to advocate for our amazing students.”
The alternative certification program provides a way for second-career professionals to enter the teaching field. The program allows them to gain training and experience in the classroom, while they work toward a teaching credential.
Hallis, who already has one teaching credential in general education, enrolled in the LAUSD Intern Program in 2011 to get a second credential in special education and earned his Special Education Teacher credential last year.
“After being in general education, I saw gaps in the system, how we have large population of students who weren’t really getting access to the curriculum as much as other students,” he said. “It was kind of a calling to where I felt I was needed in that area of education.”