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G-P's Wilson dedicated to special needs students
by Shane Ersland
Jul 31, 2014 | 388 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Gregory-Portland's Lori Wilson was recognized as the school's Secondary Teacher of the Year.
Gregory-Portland's Lori Wilson was recognized as the school's Secondary Teacher of the Year.
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Lori Wilson was hired by Gregory-Portland ISD to establish the girls’ softball program in 1994, and she has been in integral part of the school’s athletic program ever since.

The district recently recognized Wilson as its Secondary Teacher of the Year. She teaches physical education, adapted physical education, and serves as the girls’ athletic coordinator.

Wilson played a primary role in securing the addition of the adapted physical education class - which is for students with special needs - to the school.

“There was really a need for an adaptive class, so I wrote a proposal, and since then we have had one,” Wilson said. “I think you have to teach age appropriate games and skills to students, and it’s hard - when you have (special needs students) in with the regular class - to meet their needs.”

Wilson coordinates her adapted physical education classes with the objectives of the school’s Special Olympics program. Whichever sports students will participate in during Special Olympics competitions are the sports she practices in her class. Sports usually include basketball, bowling, and track.

Wilson teaches a variety of students, and said she will typically work with up to 300 of them on a daily basis.

“I have the special needs population, the general population, and athletes,” she said. “You have to change gears. That is what helps me get through the day, and makes it fun.”

Wilson’s students spent time volunteering for various community initiatives last year. Students went to the Food Bank and collected blankets and other items for residents at Windsor Nursing Home in Corpus Christi. The trip was meaningful for Wilson because her mother, Myra McCrary, resides there.

“It was special,” Wilson said. “She was always a big Ladycats fan.”

Wilson is a Gregory-Portland class of 1984 graduate. The class will celebrate 30-year reunion activities next weekend. Members will eat at Corpus Christi’s Mesquite Street Grill, and watch the Spazmatics - a 1980s cover band - at Brewster Street Ice House.

Wilson’s daughter, Hannah Wilson, shares her mother’s love of sports. Hannah will be a senior this year, and she has already committed to play softball at Houston Baptist University.

“She fell in love with the game, and was recruited before she even played on the field,” Wilson said. “We’re trying to keep her injury free.”

Wilson hopes to help keep the Ladycats’ strong athletic tradition going this year.

“The tradition of the athletic program we’ve put together over the last 20 years has been great, and seeing the girls grow and get better as athletes is amazing,” she said.

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