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USF College of Education Professor Receives National Educator of the Year Award for Impact on Students with Learning Disabilities

David H. Allsopp recognized with the 2017 Sam Kirk Educator of the Year Award

TAMPA, Fla. (Jan. 26, 2017)— University of South Florida professor Dr. David Allsopp has been named the Sam Kirk Educator of the Year by the Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA).

The national award is given each year to an outstanding educator in the field of special education who has made a difference in the lives of individuals with learning disabilities. The award is named in honor of Dr. Samuel A. Kirk, a pioneer in education. Kirk is often credited with coining the term “learning disabilities.”

Allsopp is a professor of exceptional student education in the USF College of Education, where he has taught since 2001. He also serves as the assistant dean for education and partnerships, as well as the David C. Anchin Center Endowed Chair and director of the David C. Anchin Center. He teaches at the undergraduate and doctoral levels, focusing on courses related to instructional methods for students with high-incidence disabilities and research methods for developing and validating effective practices for students with disabilities.

Dr. David Allsopp (center), professor of exceptional education in the USF College of Education, with students at 
Pepin Academies in Tampa, a charter school serving the needs of students with learning disabilities. 

"As a special education professional since 1984 who has focused on students with learning disabilities and other related learning difficulties, I cannot think of a greater honor to receive than this one,” Allsopp said. “Sam Kirk was a pioneer in the field of learning disabilities, and I am thankful to the Florida Learning Disabilities Association, my colleagues and my students for nominating me for an award named in his honor. I am also thankful for my numerous students who over the years I have had the pleasure of knowing and serving, and who have made me a better person, teacher and scholar.”

Before coming to USF, Allsopp was a faculty member in the Special Education Program at James Madison University. He began his career as a middle school teacher for students with learning disabilities and emotional-behavioral disorders in Ocala, Fla.

“Dr. Allsopp has been a faculty member at USF for 15 years and to receive the Sam Kirk Educator of the Year Award is a tremendous national recognition,” said Dr. Roger Brindley, interim dean of the USF College of Education. “As the educator of the year, Dr. Allsopp has been identified by his national peers as an exemplar and model for special educators across the United States. We are very proud of his accomplishments and delighted the Learning Disabilities Association has honored him for his career achievements.”

Allsopp will be recognized for the award at the LDA’s 54th Annual International Conference in Baltimore in February.

- Story by Adam Freeman and Elizabeth Engasser; Photo by Ryan Noone

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