Congratulations to Cheryl Simpkins, Program Manager of Quality Compliance, for receiving the 2019 vaACCSES Staff Excellence Award!

Cheryl was recognized at the annual vaACCSES Collaborations conference on September 24, 2019. This award is presented to three staff members from across Virginia in recognition of their dedication, innovation, flexibility, leadership and collaboration in the service of individuals with disabilities.

MVLE is fortunate to have Cheryl Simpkins’s expertise and skill for the past 17 years. Cheryl embodies commitment and advocacy for persons with disabilities. Cheryl is a one of a kind professional respected deeply by her co-workers and the individuals and families she works with. Cheryl’s deep commitment has afforded numerous individuals with severely challenging behaviors to be served at MVLE programs rather than be expelled because their behaviors are too challenging.

“Cheryl has played very great role in shaping my life at MVLE and making me a better and responsible citizen. One of the most remarkable things she did to me is to make me understand what is meant to be bully and how it felt to bullied. I earlier had the tendency of bulling my peers and mates, but after Cheryl timely intervention, I have stopped behaving inappropriately to my peer. I now respect others because I will like them also to respect me.”– MVLE Individual

“Cheryl Simpkins and I met shortly after my son came to MVLE about 16 years ago. She has been instrumental in helping him manage his behaviors; been supportive when he had difficulties expressing his feelings (especially when frustrated); and advocated for him going out into the community. My son is now employed, working off-site at least one day a week. Cheryl has been a constant source of encouragement to our entire family! I commend and appreciate all that she has done and is doing for my son, and in turn our family.”– Parent of Individual receiving services at MVLE

“I’ve known Cheryl for over 10 years and she has been very helpful, assisting with my challenges. Everyone would accept my behavior, but not Cheryl. She was very kind, but firm with me and continued to work with me to change my behavior. She never made me feel bad about myself- she reassured and encouraged me. Because of Cheryl I was able to get a job working in Digital Stream and the new hydroponic garden.”– MVLE Individual

Since her employment with MVLE in August 2002, Cheryl has held ever increasing roles of responsibility as Rehabilitation Specialist, Behavior Support Specialist and Behavior Support Manager prior to her current position as Program Manager of Quality Compliance. She has undertaken increasing roles of responsibility for growing MVLE’s capacity to enable individuals with challenging behaviors to participate in community integration opportunities and day support services and supporting individuals in community paid employment.

In her role, Cheryl role oversees the quality of services to 120 individuals with a diversity of capabilities and disabilities. Her behavioral intervention and support skills are unmatched for creating positive changes with individuals and staff.

She is a committed Human Rights advocate, so much so that she volunteered to be on the Prince William Human Rights Committee. She is frequently called upon provide Human Rights training to staff. On her own initiative, she has facilitated staff training when she observes staff needing to improve their communication and interaction skills. Cheryl models professional excellence She is described by one staff member as “a remarkable gifted soul true to the creed of professionalism” If Cheryl sees tasks or issues that needs attending to, you can expect that she will step in and ensure that a solution is undertaken.

At the end of day, Cheryl always puts the needs of the individual first. Thank you Cheryl for working with purpose!