C. Lewis Martin: LADSE’s Founding Father
In the early 1950s C. Lewis Martin, the Assistant Superintendent of District 102, recognized the need for more organized and appropriate services for students with special needs. He spearheaded meetings among community members, pediatricians, parents, educators and the Director of the State Board of Education to address the needs of these children. This resulted in districts combining resources to provide a comprehensive system of services for children with disabilities. Martin worked to modify the Illinois School Code to allow for the formation of Special Education Joint Agreements. In 1957, the LaGrange Area Department of Special Education (LADSE) was officially established with C. Lewis Martin as Director.