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IAASE Awards


The structure for the IAASE Awards beginning in the FY 2003 school year is as follows. The philosophy behind the awards are as follows:  

  • There is a desire to standardize the awards process so that it is not confusing to the Nomination and Awards Committee or to the general membership.
  • There is a desire to increase recognition of members from various sectors of the Organization.
  • There is an interest in supporting those who are seeking careers in administration of special education.
  • There is an interest in promoting the Organization through the awards and scholarships of our unified Organization.
  • There is a desire to reinforce our alliance and affiliation with the International Council of Administrators of Special Education (CASE) organization through presenting nominees or CASE awards from Illinois.

General Procedures

  • Nominations will be submitted to the chairperson of the Nominations and Awards Committee.

  • A letter of recommendation indicating how the nominee meets the requirements of the award must accompany each nomination.

  • The Nomination and Awards Committee will review the nominations and select one award recipient.

  • Nominations can be made with or without the knowledge of the nominee.

  • If an individual is nominated, but does not receive the award, it may be resubmitted in future years.

  • Vuillemot and Berto winners may have their nomination forwarded to CASE for consideration for the Harrie M. Selznick Distinguished Service Award or the Outstanding Administrator of Special Education Award.


  • The criteria, nomination and selection process for each award will be posted on the IAASE website and emailed to members with the call for nominations.

  • Deadline for the nominations will be 4 weeks prior to the conference at which the award will be presented.

  • Presentation of the awards/scholarships will be during the general sessions of the Fall and Winter conferences.

L. D. Vuillemot Leadership Award

  • Member in good standing for at least 5 years

  • Current or past member of the IAASE Governing Board;

  • Demonstrates strong loyalty to colleagues and to the Organization;

  • Demonstrates concern for the development of special education leadership talent

  • Exhibits outstanding leadership, commitment, and high standards.

Trailblazer Award

  • Must be a member in good standing

  • Significant contributor to the Organization

  • Increased emphasis on honoring assistant directors, supervisors, coordinators, and other administrators of special education

  • Noted for exemplary services to teachers, students, and to the administrative team of their organization

  • To honor innovative practices and approaches including in-service training, curriculum, service delivery models, evaluation of programs, methodology, strategies, technology, etc.

William H. Ott Memorial Scholarship Program

  • Must be a member of IAASE and be a student enrolled in an advanced special education or administration program;

  • Has demonstrated leadership in the Organization and to the field of special education;

  • Not have previously received the William H. Ott Memorial Scholarship.

  • More than one Ott Scholarship may be awarded per year at the discretion of the Awards and Nominations Committee.

  • Award is $500.

David A. Berto Distinguished Service Award

  • Member of IAASE for at least 5 years (including IASE and/or ICASE)

  • A career-long leader in the administration of special education programs

  • Has made a significant contribution to the field of special education over an extended professional career.

  • For the Berto Award, the Peoria Public Schools will maintain a plaque that displays the name of each year’s recipient.

Distinguished Service to IAASE Award

  • Presented to someone who has provided exemplary service to IAASE, special education in Illinois, the field of special education administration, and/or individuals with disabilities;

  • The recipient in not necessarily an educator or a member of IAASE;

  • The award is not given every year;

  • Membera who wish to submit a nomination should submit a letter to the chair of the Nominations and Awards Committee one month prior to the Fall or Winter Conference.

Regional Awards

Any IAASE member within the region can nominate a colleague who meets the criteria. A letter of nomination must be sent to the region representatives or their designee. The letter of nomination should indicate how the nominee meets the established award criteria.

Regional awardees will be recognized at a regional event and will also be recognized at the IAASE winter conference. They will also have their nominations forwarded to the IAASE awards committee chairperson for consideration for the IAASE Vuillemot, Berto, and/or Trailblazer awards.

Region representatives will establish the deadlines and processes for awards in the Region. IAASE will provide framed award certificates. 


Regional Leadership Award

  • Member of IAASE for at least 5 years

  • Exhibits strong leadership in the administration of special education programs

  • Demonstrates loyalty to colleagues and the professional organization

  • Displays commitment and strong professional standards

Regional Trailblazer Award

  • Member of IAASE

  • Exhibits exemplary service to teachers, students, and the administrative team of his/her organization

  • Leads and/or implements innovative practices and approaches including professional development, curriculum, service delivery, program evaluation, methodology, technology, etc.