Judy Sorrell

“Building local capacity, that’s just really critical for me. I think it’s been a lifesaver for our local school divisions.”
— Matt Eich for Education Week
— Matt Eich for Education Week
Focus of Strength:Special Education
Position:Director, Shenandoah Valley Regional Program for Special Education, Fishersville, Va.
District:Six school districts in the region

When Judy Sorrell was a child, she knew she would devote her life to working with children with disabilities.

As a 5th grader, well before the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act existed, requiring public schools to educate students with disabilities in the “least restrictive” environment possible, Sorrell was already indignant over the way a younger cousin with Down syndrome was being treated in school. Though her cousin attended school on the same campus, Sorrell wasn’t allowed to talk to her or see her all day.

Now 59, Sorrell has drawn on that sense of indignation when necessary to bring the most up-to-date services and professionals to her students in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, where she coordinates special education services for students with low-incidence disabilities for six school districts.

Read More From the Special Report >