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From USA Today: Special education teacher shortage creates opportunity for students

Noel Frye was smiling ear to ear. “Me graduate,” she said, recalling her accomplishment.

The 20-year-old received her high school diploma this past spring. Her father, Bob Frye, told USA TODAY College that walking across the stage to accept her diploma as students, friends, family and teachers cheered her on was one of Noel’s proudest accomplishments.

Frye has Down syndrome. She was one of the 6.4 million students ages 3 to 21 in 2012-2013 — the last year numbers are available from the Institute of Education Sciences — enrolled in special education programs. And her success, said her parents, was built on a skilled, caring teacher at her high school.

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