smiling ponytail photograph of Dr. Michelle Roper and text says she received the Mary Lou Wall awardThe Virginia Council of Administrators of Special Education (VCASE) has selected Dr. Michelle Roper, director of special education for Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS), as its 2020 Mary Lou Wall Award of Excellence recipient. The award recognizes Roper's transformative leadership, which has deeply impacted students, faculty, and staff in PWCS; it honors her courage, and proficiency in support of excellence in special educational services.

Roper's reputation for excellence is acknowledged and appreciated throughout PWCS, as noted from the broad, passionate support from colleagues and staff since her 2017 appointment to director for the PWCS Office of Special Education.

"The positive and compassionate atmosphere in the Office of Special Education (OSE) would not be possible without Dr. Roper's unique ability to build trust and relationships with parents, building administrators and teachers, and staff...." said her administrative staff in a joint letter of support for this nomination. "Dr. Roper puts relationships at the forefront of her practice...[her] leadership is the reason OSE has the positive impact on the school division that is seen today."

VCASE established the Mary Lou Wall Award to recognize exemplary early career leaders in their first three years of leading local division's special education services. The award presentation, originally scheduled to be presented at the VCASE Spring Conference, is now planned for fall at the VCASE conference scheduled to be held October 22-23 in Richmond.