Local administrator honored for work in special education


Sarah Davis

Communications Specialist

Mary Zaleski

Director of Communication Services

Press Release
For Immediate Release

Oakland Schools presents Gwisdalla Award. 

The local teaching community recently came together to honor a special education administrator for her work, while also remembering another.
Susan Toth, director of Special Education for South Lyon Community Schools, was presented Sept. 14 with the 2017-2018 Gwisdalla Award at a ceremony held at Oakland Schools.
The Gwisdalla Award was created in honor of Gregory Gwisdalla, who was the director of Special Education at Oakland Schools from 1997-2001. As a tireless advocate for improved services and life outcomes for children, Gwisdalla was a leader in special education for over 30 years at the local, regional and state levels when he suddenly passed away.
“Susan is a leader in the county and truly an individual who we all rely on when making educational decisions in the area of special education,” said Melissa Baker, South Lyon Community Schools superintendent.
Two members of the Gwisdalla family attended the event to remember Gwidsalla and bestow Toth with the honor.
Toth has served as an educator in South Lyon for 26 years and as the director of Special Education for over seven of those years. Toth has had many notable achievements during her tenure, including:  

  • being the recipient of the South Lyon Teacher of the Year Award in 2009.
  • transforming the birth to age three program and the post-high programming (in collaboration with Oakland Schools).
  • instituting middle and high school programming for students with emotional impairments.
  • creating parent liaison positions for each school.
  • developing a system of support to enhance para-educator excellence.

In addition, Toth is an active member of the Special Education Administrator of Oakland County (SEAOC) group, serving on the Executive Board and as the president for the past two years.

Photo above: Susan Toth, director of Special Education for South Lyon Community Schools, gathers with colleagues and members of Gregory Gwisdalla's family after they presented her with the Gwisdalla Award for her work in the field. 

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Oakland Schools is a regional service agency that offers support services to school personnel which are best delivered regionally and provide cost, size and quality advantages to those we serve. Oakland Schools is an autonomous, tax-supported public school district governed by Michigan General School Laws and is one of 56 intermediate school districts (ISDs) established in Michigan in 1962.

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