The Down Syndrome Association of South Texas named William McGinnis, the coordinator of Adaptive and Special Olympic Physical Education at Harlandale ISD, the “Inclusion Champion: Educator of the Year.” The award recognizes McGinnis’ commitment and dedication towards the inclusion of students with Down syndrome.

“I knew that my purpose in life was to help students feel included, and words cannot really describe how much I appreciate the Harlandale community for receiving my ideas and allowing me to become the educator I am today,” said McGinnis.

The director of special education at Harlandale ISD, Della Taylor, said, “I am proud that William has received this incredible award…He has taken this program to the next level, expanding it with special activities, with Unified Sports, and really recognizing many of the areas we didn’t have before.”

McGinnis’ award has given him encouragement to continue his work. He explained, “My future goals include Harlandale ISD participating fully in Unified Sports and creating more leadership opportunities for our students with disabilities.”