Meet Sydney King--a student making a difference in the lives of our students with disabilities

Sydney King first became involved in the Extended School Year program as a preschooler, coming everyday with her mother who worked apart of it as a teacher. Extended School Year (ESY) is a free, special education program provided in the summer that goes beyond the normal school year for the purpose of providing students with disabilities any extra instructional time they might need.

At the young age of five, Sydney first acted as a model for the students attending, many being diagnosed with autism, and played along with those her age who were in need of help developing their language, social, and behavioral skills. Even as a toddler, Sydney acted as an exemplary teacher and person.

Since those early days, Sydney has continued to volunteer with ESY every summer since, each year taking on more and more responsibility. She has set up & straightened rooms, organized class materials, modeled educational expectations, run errands for teachers, assisted in sensory activities, provided instruction to individual students, and just acted generally as a positive peer, summer after summer.

“Sydney works as hard as any employee I have on staff at Extended School Year. She never misses a day, arrives early to report, and jumps in to assist with any need. Sydney has a love for students that learn different and the patience to assist students to overcome any hurdle.” said Sarah Huffman, Director of Exceptional Student Education, of Sydney and her work ethic.

Extended School Year, offered as a part of many of our students' IEPs, is a wonderful experience.

Sydney also plans to continue in this path by becoming a special needs teacher. With ESY, she participated in a specialized training program centered on teaching those with significant communication needs over this past summer.

At GMSD, we truly appreciate Sydney and thank her for all the work she has done over the years. We are incredibly proud to have had a student of such great work and kindness and cannot wait to see what she accomplishes in the future.
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