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Dena Penner, Chair of Alexandria’s Special Education Committee, Wins Collins Outstanding Advocate Award

The award will be presented during a reception June 26

Dena Penner (Photo courtesy ACPS)

ALEXANDRIA, VA-Dena Penner is the winner of the 2024 John Duty Collins III Outstanding Advocate for Persons with Disabilities Award. She chairs the Special Education Committee with the Alexandria Parent Teachers Association Council (PTAC). The award is given annually by the  Alexandria Commission on Persons with Disabilities.

The award will be presented during a reception June 26 at the headquarters of the American Physical Therapy Association. Two others wil also be received that night: the Bertier Scholarship and the Disability Awareness Award (given to a local business).

“Dena has been the shining example of compassion and advocacy, leading our special education committee with unwavering dedication,” said Meta Viers, Alexandria PTAC President in the ACPS Express newsletter. “Her efforts have not only empowered parents, but have also transformed our entire council, infusing it with an inclusive spirit that reverberates in every endeavor we undertake. We are truly grateful for the well-deserved acknowledgment of Dena’s contributions.”

Collins III was an early advocate for people with disabilities and lived in Alexandria. He died in 1989 and the award was established later that year to honor his dedication and memory.

[SEE ALSO: Alexandria Health Department Co-hosting Men’s Health Expo June 8]

Kevin Dauray

Kevin is Publisher's Assistant with The Zebra Press. He has been working for Alexandria's "Good News" newspaper since 2019. A graduate of George Mason University, he earned a bachelor's in English with a concentration in Creative Writing. He also studied at the Columbia School of Broadcasting and holds a master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Marymount University. He is an alumnus of T.C. Williams High School. Go Titans!

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