Carolyn Shortt Recognized as “Advocate of the Year”

A longtime teacher and administrator for Laurens County School District 55 has been honored by the South Carolina Council for Exceptional Children. At last night’s District 55 school board meeting for February, Trustees recognized Mrs. Carolyn Beasley Shortt for having been named the state council’s “Advocate of the Year.”

Mrs. Beasley has been employed by District 55 Schools for 49 years and has served in a variety of capacities before becoming the District 55 Transition Coordinator for the past 17 years.

District 55 Superintendent Dr. Ameca Thomas noted Mrs. Shortt has a dedicated member of the District 55 staff for many years, saying,  “We truly appreciate and value her commitment to our students and our community.”

Dr. Sara-Frances Lail, District 55 Director of the Office of Special Educational Services, noted that as District 55’s Transition Coordinator, “Mrs. Short helps students receive the services transition provides through advocacy and collaboration at the district, community, and state levels. She continuously serves as a liaison with community agencies, businesses, churches, and organizations to communicate student needs and to build lasting partnerships to broaden the possibilities for transition services for students in Laurens County.

Carolyn Shortt has served for years on numerous committees, boards, and as an officer in professional and service organizations. Recently, the Interagency Committee: National Disability Employment Award Committee established an award in her honor, the “Carolyn Beasley Shortt Leadership Award.” She was the first to receive that award for “Her dedicated efforts to ensure the education, training, and employment of individuals with disabilities.”

In accepting the “Advocate of the Year” award, Shortt said, “I am humbled to have received such an honor from my colleagues. I love being a voice for the children. I credit my parents for instilling in me a sense of caring and community with love and respect for your fellow man.”

Both Mrs. Shortt and her husband, Dr. Robert Shortt, a former assistant superintendent for District 55, are involved in the community.