The GCASE Scholarship Programs
There are three types of GCASE Scholarships available. They are:
- Betty Bliss Memorial Scholarships
- Jerry Vlasak Memorial Scholarship
- Joye Thorne Memorial Scholarship
These scholarships are reimbursement type scholarships. Recipients will be asked to submit receipts for tuition, books or fees to the GCASE Treasurer for reimbursements of expenses made. Invoices, payment schedules or other documents outlining payment owed by the recipient are not adequate for reimbursement purposes. Reimbursement will not be approved for items such as office equipment, technology, projects, travel or mileage.
The GCASE Scholarship program will not reimburse recipients for expenses paid for by other sources such as Pell Grants or other sources of financial aid.
2018 GCASE Scholarship Winners:
Betty Bliss Award Joye Thorne Award Jerry Vlasek Award
LaTrisha Allen – Needville ISD Obisike Ironche -Pearland ISD Nargis Lakhani – IL Texas
Estella Garrett – Alvin ISD
Jessica Gough – Friendswood ISD
Ebony Henry-McCormick – Cy-Fair ISD
Ashley Hart – Friendswood ISD
Sherri Hoffman – Cy-Fair ISD
Elizabeth Ross – Alief ISD
Mary Rougeau-Green – Pearland ISD
Kelly Schultz – Pearland ISD
Gwendolyn Thornton – Alvin ISD
GCase Scholarship Application Form & RequirementsApplicants for any of the GCASE Scholarship apply with this form; deadlines, procedures and requirements are the same for all three types of scholarships. Download the GCASE Application using above link in Word (.doc)
- Completed application. The application must be signed by the Special Education Director or central office administrator for Special Education (Assistant Director, Coordinator, etc.). It will not be accepted without this signature. Signatures from campus personnel (principals, assistant principals, department chairs, etc.) are not accepted.
- Statement by applicant (150 words or less) outlining your basic philosophy about education and students with disabilities.
- Three (3) letters of recommendation; one each from a Special Education Director or administrative supervisor, a Principal, and a Special Education Teacher. These must be attached to the application.
- College transcript, if applicable, or SAT scores or others. (College transcript or test scores must be attached to application.) Any and all transcripts must be attached. These do not have to be originals and will not be returned.
- You may include up to five certificates verifying your participation in staff development activities that have enhanced your skills in working with students with disabilities in the public school setting.
- YOU MUST SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION PACKET ELECTRONICALLY TO firstname.lastname@example.org. Your application packet includes:
- The signed application
- Your basic philosophy statement
- All three letters or recommendation
- All of your transcripts (copies accepted)
- Up to five certificates verifying staff development participation
Please do not include these instructions as part of your application packet.
Scholarship recipient must reside in the Region IV area during the terms of the scholarship.
All information must be received by the deadline.
Completed packets should be sent electronically to email@example.com
Betty Bliss Memorial Scholarship
The Gulf Coast Administrators of Special Education (GCASE) offers Betty Bliss Scholarships as a memorial to Betty Bliss, a former Special Education Director. These scholarships are for individuals working toward a Special Education certification endorsement so that they may provide services to students in the public school setting. The scholarships are to be awarded to special education staff, school staff, substitute teachers (average of three days per week substitute teaching) or individuals accepted into an Alternative Certification Program leading to a Special Education Endorsement (Generic, VI, AI, OT, PT, Speech, Assessment Personnel, etc.).
Scholarships are awarded in 2 different categories.
- The first category ($2,500) is for applicants who are currently not working in a professional position.
- The second category ($2,000) is for applicants who are already degreed or currently in a professional position working toward certification.
The number of Betty Bliss Scholarships awarded will be determined by ranking of scores of the applications received. Alternates will be selected and awarded scholarships if recipients are unable to accept an award. The scholarships will be available to be utilized from May 2019 to June 2020 (13 months). The scholarship recipients must continue to reside in the Region 4 or 6 area during the 13 months term of the scholarship (May 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020).
If you wish to apply for a scholarship, please complete the application form and comply with all the requirements. Previous recipients are eligible to re-apply, but cannot receive the scholarship more than twice.
Scholarship recipients will be selected on information submitted and not on a personal interview or personal recommendations. The applications will be rated from 0-3 points in the following categories:
(1) Education (past, present and future)
(2) Experience working with children with or without disabilities
(3) Special Skills
(4) Basic Philosophy
Betty Bliss Scholarship Winners (2018)
|Latrisha Allen||Needville ISD||$2,500|
|Estella Garrett||Alvin ISD||$2,500|
|Jessica Gough||Friendswood ISD||$2,500|
|Ebony McCormick||Cy-Fair ISD||$2,500|
|Ashley Hart||Friendswood ISD||$2,000|
|Sherry Hoffman||Cy-Fair ISD||$2,000|
|Elizabeth Ross||Alief ISD||$2,500|
|Mary Green||Pearland ISD||
|Gwendolyn Thornton||Alvin ISD||$2,000|
Joye Thorne Memorial Scholarship
This scholarship is for a degreed individual who is working towards a Master’s Degree in Special Education so that he or she may provide services to students with disabilities in the public school setting. One $2,000 scholarship may be awarded annually.
Dr. Thorne found her life’s work as an educator, teaching English for the Aldine School District before becoming the Director of Special Education for that district in 1969, a position she held for 31 years. Dr. Thorne became a respected leader in the area of Special Education, and was selected by the Department of Defense as a compliance officer for dependent schools in Italy, Greece, Crete, and Bahrain. Dr. Thorne also represented Aldine ISD in numerous international forums, including programs in Germany and France, as well as serving as an adjunct professor at UH, St. Thomas, and Sam Houston State. Dr. Thorne was a member of GCASE and TCASE for many years, winning the TCASE Director of The Year award in 1993. Her concern for students with disabilities, wealth of knowledge and insightful thinking has had a profound impact on the implementation of services to students with disabilities. Dr. Thorne had great expertise in the area of Learning Disabilities, and she was one of the administrators who initiated “Plan A” in Texas prior to the federal law. Plan A helped to establish the field of Learning Disabilities in Texas public education, replacing the Minimally Brain Injured (MBI) programs.
Joye Thorne Memorial Scholarship Winner (2019)
|Obisike Ironch||Pearland ISD||$2,000|
Jerry Vlasak Memorial Scholarship
This scholarship is for a current special education administrator working towards a doctorate or superintendent’s certification so that he or she may provide services to students in the public school setting. The scholarship will be for $2,000. Application for this scholarship will be part of the Betty Bliss Scholarship application materials.
Dr. Vlasak was a long time supporter of GCASE who spent his professional life involved working on behalf of children with disabilities at the district, State, and Federal level. Dr. Vlasak was Director of Special education in the Corpus Christi Independent School District. He then moved to the state level where he served as the Director of Special Education Administration and the Assistant State Director of Special Education at the Texas Education Agency. In 1976, Dr. Vlasak received a presidential appointment to the United States Department of Education immediately following the passage of Public Law 94-142, the landmark legislation ensuring that every child with a disability receives a free and appropriate public education. Following his successful tenure with the USDOE, Jerry and his wife, Dr. Frances Stetson returned to Texas where he served as an Assistant Superintendent with the Humble Independent School District. In 2003, Jerry served as Director for Public Education for the Brown Schools Education Corporation.
Jerry Vlasak Memorial Scholarship Winner (2018)
|Nargis Lakhani||IL Texas Charter||$2,000|
GCASE Scholarship Application Form and Requirements
Applicants for any of the GCASE Scholarship apply with this form; deadlines, procedures and requirements are the same for all three types of scholarships.