Renee Farrell honored with Paul J. Langan Award during Kentucky School for the Blind Founder’s Day event

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News Release

Media Contact: Jennifer Ginn

Director of Communications

Office: (502) 564-2000, ext. 4601

Advisory 24-126


May 10, 2024

Renee Farrell standing at a podium and accepting an award.

Renee Farrell, left, receives the 2024 Paul J. Langan Award from Kentucky School for the Blind Principal Peggy Sinclair-Morris during the school's Founders' Day celebration. Photo by Joe Ragusa, Kentucky Department of Education, May 9, 2024

Renee Farrell honored with Paul J. Langan Award during Kentucky School for the Blind Founder’s Day event

(LOUISVILLE, KY) – Renee Farrell, a former certified orientation and mobility specialist for the Kentucky School for the Blind (KSB), is this year’s recipient of the Paul J. Langan Award. The award was presented during KSB’s Founder's Day celebration on May 9.

“It’s an honor,” said Farrell. “There was a really good, cohesive group of teachers and professionals when I was working here, even the aides. We all did good work.”

The Paul J. Langan Award is named after the man who served as KSB’s superintendent from 1945-1956, in recognition of his outstanding service and constructive leadership. Langan’s innovative approach to education established the foundation for continued improvement of the education of blind and visually impaired children at the school.

The award is presented to individuals who have given their time and efforts over a long period of time to support and interact with KSB, people that are blind and visually impaired, and the blindness community. The Paul J. Langan Award is intended to be a high honor to those who receive it and as recognition of Langan's legacy of character and service.

“Paul J. Langan meant so much to the KSB community during a pivotal time in the school’s history,” said KSB Principal Peggy Sinclair-Morris. “He showed true dedication to the blind and visually impaired community and I am thrilled when we get to celebrate those who followed in his footsteps and provided years of hard work and dedicated service. Farrell’s role with KSB for decades shows just how committed she is to the school. She volunteers to this day, even though she is retired.”

Farrell started working at KSB in 1986 in a specialized role to help individuals who are blind or visually impaired while also teaching classes at the school. She retired in 2013.

“I didn’t really think of (my role) as having an impact. It was just my job and I needed (the students) to go where they needed to go safely,” said Farrell.

The award was presented during the annual Founder's Day ceremony, an event that commemorates KSB’s rich history of providing educational services to Kentucky students who are blind and visually impaired.

“Founders’ Day is truly a day to look forward to as we celebrate everything the Kentucky School for the Blind has done and everything our students are currently doing,” said Sinclair-Morris. “It’s also an opportunity to look forward into the challenging but exciting future, as we work towards providing the best education possible for our blind and visually impaired children.”

As part of the ceremony, school staff members planted a dogwood tree in Farrell’s honor.

KSB enrolls 76 residential students and provides outreach to more than 1,600 blind and visually impaired students in the Commonwealth. While on campus, students are taught the same core curriculum as their sighted peers and receive instruction in the expanded core curriculum on such topics as travel, independent living, visual efficiency skills and more. The school also provides Braille and large-type textbooks, assistive and adaptive technology, specialized educational aids, low vision services and assistance to all of Kentucky’s 171 school districts.