Dearman Receives Arc Professional Of The Year Award
Garry Dearman, of Bay Springs, was recently chosen as the Professional of the Year by the Arc (Association for the Rights of Citizens with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities) of Mississippi at the state conference held in Natchez July 21-23. Dearman, who works as an Academic Teacher at Ellisville State School’s Community Homes in Bay Springs, said he was “a little overcome” when he heard the announcement. “I was just blown away,” he stated, adding, “It’s been cool. I’m just so flattered.”
Dearman credits Ellisville State School with giving him the opportunity to be involved with the Arc of Jones County. He stated that accompanying the individuals he works with in the community homes to activities sponsored by the Arc led to his being asked to serve on the Board of Directors for the Arc of Jones County. Dearman currently serves as secretary for the board. According to Dearman, the Jones County chapter of the Arc is one of the top chapters in the state based on membership and service to the community.
The Professional of the Year award is given each year to someone employed in providing services in the community to individuals with disabilities. The award recipient must also possess the ability to assist individuals with disabilities in achieving independence, supporting the Arc’s mission of being “committed to securing for all people with developmental disabilities the opportunity to choose and realize their goals of where and how they learn, live, work and play.”
Susan Jenkins, Director of the Bay Springs Community Homes, said that Dearman’s commitment to improving the lives of people he serves is evident by, not just his desire to be a part of their community, but also by his participation on the Arc of Jones County Board of Directors. She added that he continues to be committed to integrating each individual into the community as fully as possible. “We at Bay Springs ICF/MR Community Homes congratulate Garry on this award,” she said, “and believe it is well deserved.