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Hazelwood West High School Students Earn Highest SSD Honor

The Special Education Foundation, along with the Special School District of St. Louis County (SSD), recognized and honored 39 SSD students at the annual Commitment to Kids Banquet.

  • Whiz Kid's Names: Charlene Behlmann, David Brown and Ryan Plambeck
  • Whiz Kid's School/Church/Community Center: Hazelwood West High School
  • Whiz Kid's Accomplishment: These three students are Rosemary Zander Award recipients.
  • Whiz Kid's Key to Awesomeness: These three students showed that by winning the Rosemary Zander Award, which is the highest honor awarded to SSD students, they succeed in a range of categories – academics, arts, athletics, communications, vocational training, employment, independent living skills, community service and extracurricular activities. The Zander Award program recognizes students for their extraordinary successes.

Charlene: Charlene has battled emotional and academic problems in her life. Her problems became so severe, that as a freshman she moved to a residential living facility and ended the year with a 1.28 GPA, according to the SSD. As a senior this year, Charlene earned a 4.0 GPA first semester, and had perfect attendance, according to SSD.

David: He excels in three sports: goalball, a sport created for blind athletes; wrestling; and track. David also holds a 3.6 GPA, and  graduated as valedictorian of his class at Missouri School for the Blind, according to SSD.

Ryan: As a freshman, Ryan was in modified classes, participated in no after-school activities and rarely spoke, according to SSD. After a language impairment and Asperger syndrome diagnosis, Ryan worked hard. Senior year, he was in general education setting for all of his classes. He is a member of West's Earth and Sky, and Art and Fibers clubs. Some of his art is displayed at local art fairs.

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