2018 Award Winners


Award Nominations for 2019

Congratulations to the 2018 Award Winners

The Amy Forshey Memorial Excellence in Education Award

Jennifer Drosche, Avon Community School Corporation

Jennifer Drosche has been selected for the Excellence In Education Award by the Indiana Learning Disabilities                                    Association. She has been an educator for fifteen years.  Mrs. Drosche is employed with the Avon Community                                     School Corporation Avon and is a teacher of Language Arts and Social Studies at Avon Intermediate East.

In nominating her, Stephanie Goebel said, “ During the time she was my son’s homeroom teacher, she went                                                  above and beyond for each of her students. My son missed many days during the school year due to TBI yet                               she worked to keep him caught up on his work.”  She went on to say, “My son’s TBI issues began at a very early age                                      and now has memory issues. She makes sure that he succeeds. One of his goals since second grade has been                                            to be on the “A and B” Honor Roll since second grade. Thanks to her teaching methods and ability to make him                           understand the materials, he was able to achieve his goal!”

Jennifer A. Drosche earned the bachelor’s degree at Ball State University. She began her career at Clinton Young Elementary School in Perry Township in 2003. She transferred to Glenns Valley Elementary in 2008 and was there until 2015 before joining the Avon Community School Corporation.

Mrs. Drosche said, “My classroom has been a mixture of high and low-level learners along with pull-out and inclusion special needs students. I am very detail oriented and strive to pay attention to the individual needs of my students.”  She concluded, “I feel making a personal connection with each one of my students is key to helping them achieve their best! I am very dedicated to my job because I know that I am helping young people grow into lifelong learners.”

Her community service has included being a Bible School teacher at Glenns Valley Church, fundraising for Special Olympics by doing the Polar Bear plunge with other teachers, tutoring children, and she has coached cheerleading at Avon High School.

In addition to her busy schedule as a professional and community leader, Jennifer Drosche is dedicated to her family.  Mrs. Drosche and her husband Troy, a business teacher and head varsity baseball coach at Avon High School are the parents of three children: Olivia, a ten-year-old fifth grade student; Trevor, an eight year old third grader; and Kendra, a six year old first grade student. All of them attend school in Avon.

Congratulations to Jenifer A. Drosche!

Award Winner Jennifer Drosche Pic.jpg

                                          The Sharon Harris 'You Make a Difference' Award


                                                              Wendy J. Mader, Fort Wayne

Wendy Mader has been selected LDA’s 2018 'You Make A Difference' Award recipient.  Mrs. Mader lives in

Fort Wayne and has been dedicated to children with learning needs for many years.  Through her nomination,

Dr. Bobbie Weikle said, “Wendy Mader has always taken students falling behind and given them extra remedial

help. She has never been too busy to talk with a parent or work with a student who needed help.”  Wendy

Mader has truly made a difference and her students have become leaders in their communities and with their


Her 41-year career in education has been varied.  She has the distinction of being a highly qualified teacher

under NCLB and was Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year in 2004.  Some of her positions included serving as St. Paul’s

Lutheran School first resource room teacher and Director of Special Education for the Lutheran Association for

Elementary Education in Fort Wayne.  She served as a consultant for students with emotional disabilities (ED)

and Autism for the Northeast Indiana Special Education Co-op.  She created and directed the first summer school program from 1980-1997 at the Holy Cross Lutheran School in Fort Wayne: Pathways to Progress, a summer program for 80-110 students K-8.  The program was open to the public and was dedicated to students who experienced learning disabilities and/or ADHD.  She was a high school teacher of students with ED and Chair of the Special Services Department for Whitley County Consolidated Schools in Columbia City, IN, and later an elementary teacher of students with ED.  She substituted after her retirement in 2008 in public and Lutheran schools from 2009-2017.  


In 2013-15, Mrs. Mader taught American English in Fort Wayne’s Sister City, Plock, Poland, and she was Fort Wayne’s representative for European Picnic 2017.  Other accomplishments include coaching grade 5 volleyball and girl’s track, grades 7 and 8, teaching Kindergarten and 2nd grade for Bethlehem School in Fort Wayne, being Director and teacher of 4 and 5-year-olds for Lutheran Schools, and teaching 1st grade in Highland School in Lafayette


Wendy stated that she will be forever grateful to former LDA secretary Jean Rehberg, a mentor, who was the Ft. Wayne Lutheran Schools Director of Special Education and a parent of a daughter with severe disabilities.  Another encourager and friend is Bobbie Weikle and “our friendship dates back to St Francis University, where she ran a resource room from which I checked our many materials for Pathways to Progress. We both encouraged each other.”


A special thanks to my dearest encourager, my husband John of 54 years, a Purdue Engineer, who always managed to say the right words at the right time. His advice: sometimes teachers need to look back at all they have done, not just at what looms ahead. That is so true for special services to students with special needs. So, relish the view of history since IDEA. Being a former track coach, she now passes the baton of educating students with special needs to you, the present and future leaders in the field of special services. It is passed with thanks for 41 years of memories and hope for a brighter future for students with disabilities.


Congratulations to Wendy Mader!

Award Winner-Wendy Mader Pic.jpg

Submit a Nomination for 2019

Do you know a student who overcomes the struggles of a learning disability or ADHD to

achieve success in school and life? Or a teacher or service provider who does outstanding

work with students or families experiencing the effects of a learning disability or ADHD?

Honor them with a nomination for an LDA Award.

You may post a nomination for the

November 2, 2019, LDA Annual Conference awards at any time.

Extended Deadline: October15, 2019. 

Questions? Email useemlda@gmail.com.

Complete the embedded form to submit a nomination or mail the same information to LDA of Indiana, PO Box 2452, West Lafayette, IN 47996.  You may include up to four supporting letters from others.  You will receive a confirmation of your nomination within 48 hours.

After submitting your nomination on this site, click the back arrow to return to the LDA website.


AWARDS:  All nominees will receive acknowledgement of their nomination.  Winners will receive a lovely plaque, and paid conference attendance for two.  The student winner will receive paid attendance to the conference for self and his or her parents.  Winners will also receive complimentary memberships to LDA of Indiana and LDA of America and acknowledgement on this LDA website.

Read about 2016 and 2017 Award Winners

Congratulations to the 2017 Annual Award Winners!

Learn, Dream, and Achieve Student Award

This award acknowledges the accomplishments of an Indiana high school or college student who has been successful in school and life in spite of having a learning disability. This year we celebrate the successes of Beverly Winters

Clayton, Indiana, Cascade High School.

Beverly is a sophomore at Cascade High School. She is a student with dyslexia and currently has a 504 plan in place at her school. Beverly is just fifteen years old, but has accomplished much during that short time.  Her mother, Mary Winters said, "Beverly loved school even before she could attend.  School was her favorite place to be and reading was her new best friend!  That was until fourth grade.  Beverly's grade in Language Arts was failing and she hated going to school so much she would make herself sick.  The problem was that she was being made fun of when she had to read aloud in class.  Reading suddenly became her worse nightmare."

Beverly Winters

Once Beverly understood dyslexia in middle school, she became an advocate for others.  She began to spread the word by starting a blog and sharing her story.  In seventh grade, she wrote a letter to the Department of Education expressing he being overlooked in schools.  In her efforts to help others like herself, she often asks, "What can I do?"

Schoolwork is not easy for her and it often takes twice as long as her peers for Bev to complete homework assignments.  She works throughout the summer months to prepare for classes in the fall.  She has experienced academic achievement and success, currently carrying a GPA of 3.65  honors and advanced placement classes.  School is not easy, yet it is once again her favorite place to be.  She understands what she needs and is le to stand up and ask for help.

Amy Forshey Memorial Excellence in Education Award

This award recognizes an outstanding educator who has been influential in the field of special education, and especially in the areas of LD and ADHD.

Dr. Beth Tulbert, Ph.D, of Indianapolis is the 2017 Dr. Amy Forshey Excellence in Education Award recipient. Dr. Tulbert is a teacher at the Fortune Academy. Upon learning of being chosen for the award, she said, "I appreciate being honored!" She said, "I have been teaching students with disabilities since I received my undergraduate degree in 1973. I taught students with mild and moderate cognitive disabilities for sixteen years in Virginia."

In addition to her important work at Fortune Academy, Dr, Tulbert has taught at Ball State University, the University of Utah and the University of Kansas where she has also worked in a variety of roles.

Dr. Beth Tulbert

Dr. Tulbert earned a Master’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in the areas of learning disabilities and emotional disorders. She went on to earn the doctorate from the University of Florida specializing in learning disabilities, transition, research and statistics. It was there that she worked closely with Dr. Cecil Mercer.

According to Janet George, Fortune Academy’s director, Dr. Tulbert spent her first career in public schools in a leadership role training teachers and planning staff development. She went on to say, "After retiring, Beth decided she wanted to return to the classroom and began her new chapter in education. She took the associate level Orton-Gillingham training and never looked back."

Janet George added, "Dr. Tulbert is a superstar teacher. Her drive to understand and meet and the needs of every student is unmatched. She mentors students now in college, teaches full time, and spends her after hours tutoring students who need even more assistance."  This year, she planned a high school field trip to St Louis to see the Eclipse. Every moment of the trip was a teachable moment for the students! I cannot express in words how truly deserving this educator is. She is truly THAT teacher!"

You Make a Difference Award

This award acknowledges the accomplishments of community member of organization in Indiana who has been especially helpful to persons with disabilities.

The LDA of Indiana board of directors has chosen Amanda Whybrew for the 2017 You Make A Difference Award. Amanda serves as the compliance coordinator for Kokomo Schools. She is also the DHH (Deaf or Hard of Hearing) teacher of record.

Dianne Goble, a colleague of Whybrew who serves as a special education teacher in Kokomo, said, "Amanda has been a long time special educator! She has been reaching out to students, parents and other educators to make education purposeful and life changing for those who struggle."

Amanda Whybrew began her career in the 1980’s serving children who had hearing impairments or were deaf. She then broadened to children with learning disabilities in all areas, and, as she did so, always endeavored to make sure that every student had the best education possible!

Amanda Whybrew

She is currently working toward earning a doctorate. She invests many hours beyond the school day to assure that both students and teachers are well cared for and informed about the ever changing and challenging world of special education.

According to Tenicia Helmberger, special education director for Kokomo Schools, "Amanda Whybrew assists special education teachers, school psychologists, general education teachers, administrators and any other staff working with students by providing research-based strategies to ensure students are successful in any school setting."

Helmberger added, "She is excellent with parents and truly advocates for the students in our district as if they were her own children."

2016 Learn, Dream, & Achieve Award

Acknowledge and celebrate the accomplishments of an Indiana high school or college student who has a learning disability or attention deficit disorder. 

2016 Winner:  Caroline Adie, Fortune Academy, Indianapolis


 Read about Caroline Adie.

Amy Forshey Memorial Excellence in Education Award

Acknowledge and celebrate the accomplishments of an Indiana educational professional who excels in the field of learning disabilities and/or ADHD.  

2016 Winner:  Dana Huffer, Fall Creek Elementary School, Fishers











 Read about Dana Huffer.

You Make a Difference Award

Acknowledge and celebrate the accomplishments of a community member or organization in Indiana that has been especially helpful to persons with learning disabilities and/or ADHD. 

2016 Winner:  Jeanne Legge, River Birch Elementary School, Avon












Read about Jeanne Legge.