I have been an Education Specialist at CocoSPA since the school opened in August 2016.
As an Education Specialist, I serve as a case manager for students with Individual Education Plans (IEPs). I work closely with administrators, teachers, instructional assistants, students, families and service providers (speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, behaviorists, counselors, psychologists, etc.) to ensure that student receive the supports and services detailed in their IEPs. I also facilitate IEP Meetings - team meetings in which we address areas of concern, monitor student progress toward their individual goals, and revise and update IEPs to ensure they reflect current levels, goals and needs. I also teach a variety of classes. This year, I am teaching small sections of Math 7 and Math 8, Spotlight (grades 9 and 10) and Remedial Reading.
By way of introduction: I come from a family of special educators and am deeply passionate about special education. In fact, I have spent my whole career in the field of special education. Over the years, I have earned a graduate degree in Special Education, a special education credential and a law degree. I decided to earn the law degree n order to become a more effective advocate for individuals with disabilities.
I have worn many different special education hats over the past, nearly thirty years. For example, I have been a case manager for Deaf-Blind students, a case manager for students with multiple and severe disabilities, a Tactile-ASL interpreter for Deaf-Blind adults, an ASL interpreter for Deaf and hard of hearing students, an elementary school teacher for Deaf and hard of hearing students in two districts, a counselor at a sleepaway camp for the Deaf, and a special education attorney.
Although I enjoyed my years as an attorney, I also pined for the excitement of being in a school community, interacting daily with students, teachers and families, and working on the proactive side of supporting students with special needs.
So, I continue to work as a special education attorney "on the side," but my heart belongs to SPA. Being at SPA since Day One has been an adventure. It is exciting to watch as the school, staff and students continue to grow and thrive!!!
Outside work, I love spending time with my husband and two daughters (ages 13 and 11) and my friends. I enjoy backpacking and hiking, cooking, reading, drawing and playing board games with my family. I also love spending time with our new dog (an adorable chocolate lab mix).