The following staff members were recognized at the Integrated Services Quarterly Meeting on Wednesday, February 5, 2020.
Brooklynn Clason; Integrated Services Early Childhood Teacher, Traut Core Knowledge Elementary
(Nominated by Sarah Daniel, Integrated Services Early Childhood Teacher and Julie Daniel, Integrated Services Early Childhood/ELD Teacher)
“Brooklynn joined the team at Traut as a first year teacher this August. During that time, she has worked tirelessly for students with disabilities. She is constantly planning, implementing and adjusting to meet the needs of her diverse student population. She has become a trusted resource to parents as they bring their students to school for the first time. Additionally, she works with her team of providers in a collaborative way with a student centered mindset. Brooklynn has blown us away with her passion and drive as a first year teacher and we are proud to have her as part of our team.”
Emily Marquess; Integrated Services Early Childhood Teacher, Lopez Elementary
(Nominated by Julie Daniel, Integrated Services Early Childhood/ELD Teacher; Stephanie Thomas, Occupational Therapist; Krista Lavigne, Speech Language Specialist; Cheryl Rayner, Integrated Services Early Childhood Paraprofessional)
“Emily has blown us all away with her abilities as a first year teacher. She would fool anyone into thinking that she is a veteran special education teacher. Emily is truly one of the most loving and caring teachers we have ever had the privilege of working with. She is attuned to each of her students’ needs whether they are receiving special education services or not. Emily’s ability to connect to all students has been something we all really admire. Each day when the students arrive, they each receive special attention from Emily. Each student is greeted with a big smile, a welcoming hug and they are assured that they will be well taken care of at school. On top of learning a new curriculum and all of the intricacies of a new job, she has gone above and beyond for her students with disabilities. Emily has been phenomenal in her ability to write IEPs and collaborate with her team. She cares deeply for all of her students, has an innate ability to problem solve and make learning happen for all of the students in her classroom and is always willing to be the one to put in the extra work to implement strategies and new ideas.
“While carrying her workload Emily always has a huge smile and a positive attitude, even in the most frustrating situations. In addition to serving her students social emotional needs, Emily has put in the time and the work to make her classroom be the best it can be for all learners. A few examples include; setting up visual supports within her routines to support language development, providing differentiation with tasks and activities, and providing numerous opportunities for hands on learning. We believe she has bright future here and we are proud to have her as one of our team members.”
Shey Reinhart; Integrated Services Paraprofessional, Riffenburgh Elementary
(Nominated by Riffenburgh Integrated Services Team: Kelly Sharp, School Psychologist; Devon Bjubrey, Occupational Therapist; Amy Stokes, Integrated Services Teacher; Sara Buchanan, Integrated Services Teacher)
“Shey joined the Riffenburgh team last year as a paraprofessional who immediately jumped in and has made a lasting impact on our students. She provides consistency and love to our students each day. She takes initiative on instructional strategies and is always willing to learn and apply new teaching techniques. Shey works with a few of our most impacted students. Her instruction has taken students from learning letters and sounds at the beginning of the year to reading sentences. Our principal walked in during Shey’s instruction time a few weeks ago and her jaw dropped at the progress one of our first grade students has made with reading! Additionally, last year Shey had been instrumental in providing behavioral and academic support to a student who, previously, was not able to remain in class for instruction more than 10 minutes at a time. This student is now in class for the majority of instruction and accessing his education for the first time. We are so fortunate to have her on our team!
“Shey always comes to work with a positive attitude. She has an easy going personality, and her laugh is contagious. This is much welcomed after a stressful day or during a tough situation. She has a great relationship with the students she works with. They love her so much that they will even bring her donuts – in the bottom of their backpacks, not in a bag of any kind. She has been extraordinary this year in working with a student with significant needs, adapting her instruction to meet his needs. We are very lucky to have her!
“You can see how impactful Shey is on every student she works with by the way they react to her presence- hugs, smiles, presents! Our students absolutely love working with Shey. If she is absent for a day, they are constantly asking “Where is Mrs. Reinhart?” and wanting to make her cards telling her how much they miss her. She demonstrates incredible patience with our students who need multiple repetitions of skills every day. Some of our more impacted students have demonstrated so much growth and progress this school year, thanks to Shey’s hard work. We are so fortunate to have Shey as a part of our team.”
Megan Sexton; Integrated Services Teacher, Blevins Middle School
(Nominated by: Erica Rezendes, Social Worker Lead, and others listed below)
“Megan has been a great asset to our team. She has a calm, patient demeanor and a great skill set for working with students who have emotional disabilities. She goes out of her way to make kids feel like they belong, to creative a positive working environment, and to communicate with parents on a regular basis. Her students have been making great progress on their IEP goals. I am so happy to have Megan on my team!” -Erica Rezendes, Social Worker Lead
“In the two years I’ve worked with Megan she shows up daily for her students as well as her para-staff. Megan makes sure every voice is heard and valued in and out of the classroom. She is a leader in our community, leading Unified Soft-ball in the summer. Megan comes in daily with new ideas that support all of our students. I believe Megan should be recognized for this award for her commitment to special education and her ability to lead by example, everyday.” – Brian Farkas, Integrated Services Teacher
“Megan is the center-based SED teacher at Blevins and she is well deserving of this award. She goes above and beyond in every aspect of her job. Megan is a trusted and consistent adult in students’ lives. She is always even keeled, she never raises her voice, and she enforces consistent expectations. Megan has built strong connections with students and their families. This allows her to hold students to high expectations and push them beyond their comfort level, while also meeting their individual needs. Megan is a master-multi-tasker and she often has multiple subjects being taught in her classroom seamlessly. She builds relationships and connections with staff and collaborates with them for the success of the students. Even though she has no time to do so, Megan writes compliant and well written IEPs. She is the glue that holds together and runs a well-oiled center-based SED team of 11 students and families, 3 full time and 2 part time paraprofessionals, a school social worker, and a school psychologist.” – Jenni Thomason, School Psychologist
“Though I have only known her a few months, Megan has been wonderful to work with and deserves recognition! She has a great sense of humor, is calm and flexible and stands her ground when she needs to. She’s a hard worker that takes on difficult tasks daily with grace and strength. She’s easy going and approachable and truly cares about the care and quality of education that her students are given. She is creative in her teaching and a great team leader and player. I appreciate her and am very glad to be in her classroom this year!” – Nicoletta Maes, Integrated Services Paraprofessional
Katie Wetzbarger; Integrated Services Teacher, Kruse Elementary
(Nominated by: Kruse Integrated Services Team)
“Katie is the teacher you want on your team! She is caring, kind, patient, trustworthy, a team player, has a great sense of humor and fun to work with! Katie has so much love for her students. She continuously goes above and beyond each day to meet their needs. Cutting fingernails, braiding hair, providing snacks, buying Christmas presents- she does it all! Katie is a talented teacher and especially great at working with some of our more challenging students and families. She is a master in providing academic, emotional, and behavioral supports for her students. Katie works collaboratively with Kruse teachers, staff and families. She runs efficient, parent friendly IEP meetings. Katie is a problem-solver, continually modifying and adjusting curriculum and instruction to best meet her students’ needs. She is a hard worker, organized and has great communication skills.
“We are so fortunate to have Katie on our team!”
Thank you all for your service and dedication to EACH and EVERY student in PSD!