WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 30, 2020) – Truman Solverud, Whiting High School’s special education and culinary teacher, has won the Everyday Champion Award from the National Center for Learning Disabilities, it was announced by the organization.

“It’s kind of affirmation that the things I’m doing are making a difference and I’m helping,” Solverud said. “There’s not a lot of feedback, sometimes, in education, so to get this feedback that I’m helping and supporting kids is a big deal.”

Solverud spent nearly 30 years working in the restaurant industry before switching paths and becoming an educator.

“Working in special education gives me the purpose that I was needing when I decided to go to school and become a teacher when I’m almost 50,” Solverud said. “Being able to support kids and help them achieve their goals means a lot.”

The organization will recognize three individuals, an educator, administrator, and a parent or caregiver who have shown outstanding achievements in remote learning during the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic.

“His philosophy and his belief system is just perfect for this environment,” said Whiting principal Scott Shoop. “What he was able to do, when we were quarantined as a district, he was helping families above all, not just kids on his case load. He has phenomenal energy and commitment to what he does.”

The educator who wins the award is someone who has provided innovative and impactful services to advance the success for students with learning and attention issues, above and beyond the requirements of their job description. The essence of teaching is not solely in the classroom but the effective creation of situations in which learning takes place.

The NCLD chose the winner of the award based on the educator’s dedication to students with learning and attention issues and their families, ability to use a range of approaches to learning, creative and innovative ways to support students with disabilities, service to students with learning and attention issues, and advocacy for persons with learning disabilities.

The Everyday Champion Award comes with a $5,000 prize. Solverud will be honored at a virtual event hosted by the NCLD on Dec. 9.