It took one morning in high school spent shadowing a speech-language pathologist for Stacy Rockman to know that this was the career path for her. She was floored with the scope of the practice, the diversity of the individuals, and the challenging yet rewarding nature of the profession.
Fast forward to current day, Rockman, speech-language pathologist (SLP) at Research Triangle Charter Academy (RTCA), was recently recognized as an Educator of Excellence at the North Carolina Exceptional Children Conference on behalf of the State of North Carolina.
This award is a recognition provided to educators who have displayed exemplary qualities daily, a passion to always do the best, and to improve themselves so that they may improve their services to their students. All school systems and charters in North Carolina are encouraged to nominate a recipient of this award.
She was nominated by Marie Massengill, special education supervisor at National Heritage Academies (NHA). Massengill shared, "Ms. Rockman is an excellent SLP who always puts the needs of our students at the forefront of every decision she makes about their educational needs. She provides services to students with unique needs and is always on top of what needs to be done to make their educational experience meaningful, successful, and robust."
For Rockman, the most rewarding part of being an SLP is also the reason she is so passionate about what she does.
“I truly enjoy seeing the growth these children make with their communication,” said Rockman. “I love seeing their confidence in finding their ‘voice’ and learning how to use it, whether that be through growing their language or social skills, improving their intelligibility, or giving them a means to communicate through augmentative and alternative communication.”
The field of speech-language pathology is unique because they can work in a variety of settings, but Rockman chose to work in schools because of the impact special educators have on students.
“The need for passionate providers for special education students is immense. These are the students in our schools who exhibit the greatest needs and are the most dependent upon our providers to make progress and be successful,” said Massengill. “Stacy's students love her, and it is very evident that she loves and respects them as well.”
Congratulations on this wonderful accomplishment, Ms. Rockman!