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Academy and its leader nominated for award | School briefs

For the Reporter

Academy Schools and its leader, Auburn's Janelle Neil, have been nominated for the KCTS 9 Golden Apple Award, which honors people and programs that make a difference in pre-kindergarten through grade 12 education in the state.

Neil, Camille Cummings and Claudia Jacobus established Children's Academy in Kent in 1996.

Renamed Academy Schools, the Early Childhood program's primary focus is on collaborative inclusion, providing each child enrolled with a quality learning environment. Over time, the school grew, grades were added, and in 2002, it received Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) approval as a K-12 school.

Neil, the academy's head of school, is a state-certified teacher with coursework emphasis in central auditory processing disorders, sensory integration disorders and adaptive curriculum. She has taught for more than 20 years in public and private schools.

Neil serves on the Washington State OSPI Board of Certification Review and Leslie University's Curriculum Development Committee.

Neil has worked with children and young adults forming and working in tutoring centers, teaching English to non-English speaking adults and volunteering in local outreach programs for at-risk youth and teens.

She is chairman of membership for the Tukwila Rotary and deacon for her church. She writes and publishes children's church materials and curriculum. She taught children at her church for 14 years, and is a volunteer advocate for low-income families who have children with learning issues.

Elsewhere

The following Auburn-area students recently graduated from Seattle Pacific University: Lakora Nicole Byrd (master of science, information systems management); Adrienne Grace Dunham (summa cum laude, bachelor of arts, computer science); Sarah Ruth Long (B.A., English); Stephen Glenn Rivera (B.S., cellular and molecular biology); Anastasiya S Stepanova (summa cum laude, B.A., integrated studies); and Courtnee Joy Williams (B.A.,integrated studies).

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