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OTS 130: Celebrating School-Based OT Practitioners


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Welcome to the show notes for Episode 130 of the OT Schoolhouse Podcast.




Let's celebrate the 2023 school-based OT practitioners of the year.


Join us in this episode, where we recognize the contributions of three exceptional individuals who have gone above and beyond to support students, teachers, staff, and the profession. These three OTPs are receiving awards from the OT Schoolhouse for impacting the 2020 to 2023 school years as OTPs.


Read their bios below, and Tune in to hear their inspiring stories!




Awards & Awardees



School-Based Occupational Therapist of the Year



Holly Lockrow, OTD, MS HSA, OTR/L



Holly is an Occupational Therapist in an inner-city school district with a lower SES in upstate NY. Holly recently completed her Doctoral degree at Utica University, where her capstone project involved an intervention for kindergarteners who would not have received services otherwise. Holly's "On the spO.T." OT program addressed the foundational skills needed for kindergarten readiness over a six-week intervention. Following the success of this program, Holly plans to continue studies related to her capstone in the near future.



"Get involved, be part of that process, and go the extra mile because it's going to benefit really you in the long run because you're going to be providing the service to the students, and hopefully we can keep some of these kids off from not having to receive those IEPs"


-Holly Lockrow, OTD, MS HSA, OTR/L





School-Based Occupational Therapy Assistant of the Year



Elaine Ulmer, COTA/L



Elaine is a graduate of Pennsylvania College of Technology, an affiliate school of Penn State University. She has been an OT Practitioner for 23 years, working in the school setting for the majority of her career. Elaine has also had the privilege of working at the Akron Children's Hospital, working for private summer camps, and providing handwriting tutoring. Elaine's current specialty area is Autism in the preschool-age population. She earned an Autism Certificate through IBCCES and is a board member of the Delaware Occupational Therapy Association.


"And when I looked at it as a team, I said, I don't think these writing activities are really geared toward our students. So then I created a modified pre-writing curriculum to use the same things that they were looking for within the curriculum, but make it more accessible to our students, because we have students with significant needs."


-Elaine Ulmer, COTA/L






School-Based Occupational Therapy Student of the Year




Ammar Morad Al.Ashkar


Ammar M. Al Ashkar is a highly accomplished occupational therapist with a passion for pediatric healthcare. Graduating with top excellence from Health and Science College's Occupational Therapy Department, he is dedicating his career to making

a positive impact on others' lives. Driven by empathy, Ammar has volunteered extensively in the Autism and pediatric fields. He also provided essential aid to his community affected by war and earthquakes, offering food and shelter to those in need. An avid learner, Ammar has pursued numerous credit courses to deepen their knowledge, with a focus on sensory and reflex integration. He is trying to adapt tools to suit his culture, enhancing the therapeutic experience. Beyond his hands-on work, Ammar is a dedicated researcher, advancing evidence-based practices in pediatric care and occupational therapy. With boundless compassion and unwavering commitment, Ammar continues to inspire and positively impact the lives of those he serves, leaving a lasting legacy in the field of occupational therapy.



"I want to develop global protocols for sensory and reflex integration practices in the future."


- Ammar Morad Al.Ashkar







Be sure to subscribe to the OT Schoolhouse email list & get access to our free downloads of Gray-Space paper and the Occupational Profile for school-based OTs. Subscribe now!




Thanks for visiting the podcast show notes! If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcast, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts




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