The following staff members were recognized at the Integrated Services Quarterly Meeting on Thursday, December 2, 2021. Their nominations were filled with praise from colleagues; read on for just a few excerpts.
Karen Offord – IS Paraprofessional, Shepardson Elementary
We cannot begin to express how wonderful a staff member Karen is within the Autism program and within the school. She is an incredibly hard worker and always puts the needs of the students above all else. She has worked with students with all levels of need within the program; supporting their various needs both in the substantially separate classroom as well as supporting their needs within the general education classrooms. Karen is proactive for the student’s needs; she is excellent in knowing in the inclusion setting how to modify the curriculum and what the students need in order to thrive. She is able to easily support the children’s needs both academically, behaviorally, empathically, socially, and emotionally. Karen works collaboratively with many team members. She will often be proactive about consulting with other special education teachers, classroom teachers and related service providers when faced with a challenging student. She is very reflective in her practice and is eager to continue to develop herself professionally. She brings an impressive work ethic and is an incredible Team player. She strives to help provide the best learning opportunities for all students. We are incredibly lucky and grateful to have Karen on our Team.
Elizabeth Crawford – OT
Elizabeth is always SO willing to help and super open to feedback and ideas from colleagues. She is amazing to collaborate with and with other IS staff and General Education teachers. Thank you Elizabeth for all of your work with staff.
Jessica Magrin – SLP, Webber Middle School
Jess does so much more than fill the role of an SLP. Jess is a mentor, counselor, and a great colleague to run ideas by. We appreciate all that you do Jessica for students and our team!!
Beth Ackerson – SWAP Specialist
Beth is attentive to student’s needs and goes above and beyond to formulate professional relationships with youth and students. Beth has a knack for understanding youth’s needs when it comes to employment and then takes the extra time to work through some of the barriers each individual person may have. Beth has a contagious positive spirit and looks for successes at work with her co-workers as well as with high school teachers, staff, and students.
Emily Gilchrist – ECSE Teacher, Putnam
Emily is an outstanding integrated services teacher who provides thoughtful, differentiated and data driven instruction for our smallest learners. She is also a strong team leader for our Putnam Early Childhood team. Emily goes above and beyond expectations of her classroom to ensure all her teammates and students in Putnam EC are thriving to their full potential.
Britany Gann – ECSE teacher, Bennett Elementary School
Britany is an amazing Integrated Services teacher. She approaches all she does with incredible enthusiasm, compassion, and dedication. Britany has taken a leadership role on our team this year, despite the fact that she is just completing her first year as an IS teacher. She has brought forth great ideas related to developing team goals and relationships. Britany’s super power is her connection with students. She has a number of students with high behavioral needs on her caseload and she has made substantial progress in helping them to access general education by developing well thought out behavior plans and consistently in implementing these plans, while at the same time developing connected relationships with the students. They adore her. We are grateful to have Britany as a team member at Bennett Elementary!!
Alicia Berry – IS Paraprofessional, Lincoln Middle School
Alicia is an incredibly dedicated, effective, and caring person. She is always willing to jump in and help, no matter what is needed. She has amazing relationships with our students. They see her as a safe person that can be trusted no matter what. Alicia is willing to listen to a student’s perspective and then make sure that they know that they are heard no matter what is happening. Alicia has also been working really hard to modify all of the science and social studies curriculum for all three grade levels at our school. She has created beautiful materials to make the curriculum more accessible for all students at our school, regardless of their level of need. Her ability to make this material accessible to all students is invaluable to our students. They love going to these classes with her knowing that they will be able to learn and participate in a meaningful way. We can’t say enough about Alicia, her flexibility and the dedication she brings to our students. She is a gift to our school and our students!
Kirsten Weissman – IS Teacher, Lesher Middle School
Kirsten is so knowledgeable on reading intervention and is such a great resource at Lesher! She works hard and completes task so thoughtfully and has such attention to detail. She has taught others so much about reading intervention and goes above and beyond for our shared students. We are thankful to work with someone like her!
Thank you all for your service and dedication to EACH and EVERY student in PSD!