2019 Larry Wood Scholarship Award Winner Announced

Larry Wood Scholarship Award

The Award

In honor of his many years of invaluable service and dedication, Benhaven has created The Larry Wood Scholarship Award, a retirement gift and scholarship fund in honor of Larry Wood. The annual award affords the opportunity for one Benhaven employee to attend a national conference on Autism.  Expenses for travel, hotel, conference fees and a per diem for food will be covered. The scholarship recognizes exceptional job performance, commitment to professional learning and growth, and appreciation for the receiving employee for their role in providing direct support to the individuals at Benhaven.


All full time staff, in good standing, who provide direct support services and have been employed by Benhaven for a minimum of one year are eligible to be nominated for the award.  Nominations are accepted from those we support, families, fellow staff, or supervisors who have first-hand knowledge of the nominee's performance.

The Larry Wood Scholarship Recipient for 2019

This year’s selection for the Scholarship is Rob Richnavsky who is employed at the Benhaven School where he has worked since 2008.  Rob progressed through the promotion levels relatively quickly. His classroom teacher applauded his teaching skills, his ability to de-escalate students’ behavior and his strong work ethic. Consequently, Rob was promoted to a floater position. This position ultimately has the employee learn every classroom to help every student implement their lessons and behavioral support plans. Rob is a sought-after floater. Teachers are extremely confident in his skills. He works effectively with students in all environments in the school as well as any community sites used as learning opportunities for the students. Students really enjoy working with him. He has the ability to help them do their best. Rob has initiated new opportunities for the students including Man Cave and a martial arts class.

Rob is a long-time, loyal, dedicated Benhaven School employee. He strives to consistently live Benhaven’s Mission in his work with our students. Rob will have the opportunity to attend the national conference offered by the Council for Exceptional Children being held in Portland Oregon in February. I ask you to join me in congratulating Rob for this accomplishment.

We were fortunate to have two other capable and enthusiastic nominees. As always it was difficult for the selection committee to make its choice. Holly Rogers was the staff person nominated from the Academy who, among other responsibilities, teaches language arts. Joey Pascale was the staff person nominated from the Residential Program. Joey assists the men at Oliver Road with their employment. Both are worthy candidates for this Scholarship. The Committee has recommended a state level conference for Holly and that Benhaven honor Joey’s request for training on the use and implications of medications used in the treatment of ASD. We will arrange for this training for all interested residential staff through our affiliation with Yale University and the Child Study Center.

The process of nomination and selection for the annual winner of the Larry Wood Scholarship continues to remind us how fortunate we are as an organization to have such caring, talented and passionate staff working here for the benefit of our students, program participants and residents.

Thanks to all of Benhavenís Direct Support Professionals
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