Kenneth Rupert

Daily Point of Light # 4346 Oct 4, 2010

Special Help for Special Education
Believing that a strong community is rooted in a thriving educational system Ken Rupert works tirelessly to improve the educational environment for the children in Hampstead, Maryland, particularly for those students with special needs.
“Despite the challenges experienced by students with developmental and cognitive difficulties, each child grows up,” says Ken “and having as much exposure to education…provides these children the opportunity to live as independently as possible while making a positive contribution to society.”
Ken’s service to his community is centered on raising awareness of special education. He began serving the special education community as the President of the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) of Hampstead Elementary School. He established yearly objectives to purchase educational resources for the school. Ken planned a golf tournament and under his leadership the PTO raised $7,500 to purchase an innovative math teaching aid known as Digi-Blocks and $13,000 to purchase maps and globes for each classroom.
He was then elected co-chair of the Carroll County Public School Special Education Citizens Advisory Committee (SECAC). Ken helped to direct the adoption of a vision for SECAC that “all students with disabilities have the educational opportunities and experiences that will help them achieve their personal and professional goals through the utilization of their gifts and talents and acquired knowledge to reach their full potential as productive members of society.”
While helping all special needs children, Ken has been able to bring particular awareness to Sotos Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that causes overly rapid physical growth during the first years of life and is often accompanied by delayed motor, cognitive and social development. Ken is working to organize the 2011 Sotos Syndrome Support Association (SSSA) Medical Conference in Williamsburg, Virginia. He hopes to increase attendance by reducing conference fees and is raising supplementary funds through corporate sponsorship and by registering SSSA as a Mission Fish charity, so far raising more than $3,500.
“Service to the community should focus on improving the lives of those who would otherwise face remarkable challenges and risk being left behind,” says Ken. Ken’s work ensures no special education students in Hampstead will be left behind.