||Schofield Hall 218|
||Eau Claire, WI 54702-4004|
Special Education Professor
Receives State Award
MAILED: Nov. 15, 1999|
Dr. David Franks, a special education professor at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, has been awarded the 1999 Wisconsin Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children Outstanding Service Award.
"I'm very proud of him and I think the award is well-earned," said special education department chair Dr. Vicki Snider, adding the Council for Exceptional Children is the largest and most influential professional organization in special education. "He is well respected in special education circles around the state, especially in the area of special education/early childhood."
Earning this award makes the second time in 25 years that Franks has gotten the honor.
"Getting it this second time means more to me because I have a better understanding of what we've done over the past years," said Franks, explaining that the year he first received the award, the field of special education/early childhood was just beginning.
Franks said in 1973, he came to the state of Wisconsin to develop education for children with disabilities from birth to 6 years of age.
"At that time there were no licenses for teachers in special education/early childhood and there were not any teacher education programs preparing teachers for this field," he said.
Now there are seven special education/early childhood programs in the state, along with teaching certification. There also has been an increase from six special education teachers to 1,000.
"When I receive an award like this I feel I'm not being recognized so much for what I've done, but rather for what my colleagues and I have done collectively," said Franks.
Arelen Wright, WDEC president, said that in addition to the many attributes and contributions Dr. Franks has made over the last 25 years, "his name is often mentioned as the father of early childhood/special education in Wisconsin."
The Council for Exceptional Children has about a dozen divisions, one of them being the Early Childhood Division. The CEC which is made up of speech pathologists, parents, administrators and teacher-educators encourages the federal and state legislatures to expand and improve services for children with disabilities from birth to 9 years of age and their families.
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: Nov. 15, 1999