State Senator Jack Martins visited the Elmont Autism Academy at the Clara H. Carlson to honor Barbara Schwarz, the founder of the program at the Elmont Union Free School District this past week. The surprise presentation was put together by students, teachers, Mr. Harper and Senator Martins. "When Mr. Harper mentioned to me that he wanted to recognize Barbara for her work with the Academy, I thought it was a perfect opportunity to thank her for developing the program into such a wonderful place of learning," said Senator Martins.
Senator Martins was joined by Elmont School Supt Al Harper, School Board President Michael Jaime, teachers, staff and students at the Academy. Martins, Harper, Jaime and students presented Schwarz with a signed card and New York State Senate Citation honoring her work in developing the groundbreaking program.
"Barbara has developed and created an incredible program that has touched the lives of countless children in Elmont. It's a model for schools to follow and learn from. The children of the Elmont Autism Academy are in a caring, nurturing and positive environment that is truly inspiring," said Senator Martins adding, "with the support of the Elmont community, and a progressive educational team, the children of the Elmont Autism Academy are on the cutting edge of education."
Superintendent Al Harper said, "the children of this academy have been successful because of the work that Barbara has done over the years. We wanted to show our appreciation to her for all she has done."
Students of the Academy presented Mrs. Schwarz with a card and artwork in appreciation of her work in the program. Students clapped and cheered as she accepted the card and citation. Senator Martins, School Board President Michael Jaime and Supt. Harper offered remarks at the presentation and thanked the staff, Schwarz and community for the success of the program.
When it was Mrs. Schwarz's turn to speak she simply said, "I'm speechless. I can't thank all of you enough. I love this program, the children and staff. Thank you!"