The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

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April 18, 2014

Motivational speaker coming to talk to Ashtabula parents, students

SAYBROOK TOWNSHIP — As a former special needs child, Mark Anthony Garrett’s life was inspired and transformed by a teacher who refused to allow him to fall through the cracks.

The Ashtabula Area City School Board and about 30 attendees watched a moving video, “Heroes Corner,” about Garrett’s remarkable life-changing story of hope and inspiration at Wednesday night’s board meeting at Lakeside High School.

Garrett will share his story and speak to local students and parents about topics, such as bullying and substance abuse, on May 30, thanks to a $9,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Education’s Race to the Top fund.

“His message is so powerful and well delivered,” Superintendent Patrick Colucci said. “His presentation is truly from the heart.”

Sally Bradley, who serves as the district’s Closing The Achievement Gap (CTAG)  Linkage Coordinator, said she’s excited about the program and Garrett’s “Think big and never give up” philosophy.

It’s her job to assure that the academic, social and emotional needs of the students are addressed. She works to provide the building blocks to socially construct hope by providing mentors, personal attention for academic learning and social service intervention. She also serves as a liaison between students, parents, and teachers and provides social experiences to expand the horizons and expectations of the students.

She is certain Garrett will make a positive impact on the students and their families, she said.

In addition, every Monday for the remainder of the school year, the district is going to be honoring teachers.

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