On May 13, the NJSBA hosted a Special Education Symposium to help board members understand the latest data, best practices and changes in school law that affect special education programs. Ian Hockley, founder of the Wingman youth leadership program, gave the keynote address at the Mercer County Community College Conference Center in West Windsor.

In memory of his 6-year-old son, Dylan, a special needs student who was killed in the mass shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, Ian created the Dylan’s Wings of Change Foundation. Seventeen New Jersey schools are already using the Wingman program, which encourages students to go above and beyond for others, as they learn the value of empathy and understanding.

NJSBA Executive Director Dr. Lawrence S. Feinsod welcomed board members to the day-long symposium, which included breakout sessions on topics such as  how to discipline a special needs student; how to incorporate a security professional into a school for students with disabilities, and how districts can save money on special needs costs.

Wingman program founder Ian Hockley (center), stands with two certified program trainers, Ellen Baxter (left) and Beth Moroney, who is also an Edison Township board member.
Board members from throughout the state attended the day-long symposium.
NJSBA Executive Director Lawrence S. Feinsod opened the event at the Mercer County Community College conference center in West Windsor.