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Biography of Susan Lipton

IMGApproximately 24 years ago, Susan Lipton joined the staff of the Canton Public Schools as the sole physical therapist for the system.  Her work space typically included the hallways, stairwells, stages, sidewalks and playgrounds.   Sue became accustomed to carrying her motor equipment from school to school.  Her car acted as both her storage closet and her office. It was not unusual for Sue to move about through the schools 3 to 4 times a day.  In time her presence became well known.  Her expertise was sought out and her role defined and expanded.

When it was time for the Luce to build its addition, a plan to include a therapy room was given priority. All Sue's hard work was beginning to pan out. Imagine, a room designed and equipped to treat children with special motor related difficulties, any therapist's dream. Not to mention the privacy and respect it offered to the students. Although not a perfect space, as caseloads grew, Sue was able to create a more suitable and effective environment for her so-called "cookies" to gain the strength and confidence needed to play and learn amongst their peers.  Things were changing.  Physical Therapy was on the map!  

But it was is in 2006 when things really took off.   Word had come down from the special education office that the Early Childhood Program would be moving to the Rodman Building.  The importance of motor development and learning had been reinforced repeatedly by Sue through the years and clearly this had been heard.  An enormous space would be set aside as the "motor" room.  Sue busied herself with planning how the space would be used.  Areas would be designated for specific therapeutic purposes.  It would be a one-of-a-kind facility, designed to provide playground experiences all year round.  And after all these years, Sue would have a desk!!!  The facility allowed Sue to provide children an opportunity to grow and develop in the most natural of environments.  You see, Sue believed whole-heartedly that play and movement were essential ingredients in child development.  

Our friend and colleague, Susan Lipton was diagnosed with kidney cancer last May, 2012. She died just six months later on November 23, 2012.  We always counted on Sue to be the voice of reality but at the same time keep us laughing.  We miss that.  But mostly, we miss her constant presence.  For 24 years she was there; working with kids one at a time; meeting expanding needs, and quietly building a state of the art therapy program from the ground up.

But Sue Lipton was so much more than the physical therapist for the Canton Public Schools. She was a wife, mother, daughter, bubbe, sister, aunt, and friend. She is sorely missed and will live in our hearts forever.