I believe I became involved in Special Education because I have always found myself drawn to kids who society would lead us to believe as not as valuable. I believe every person has equal value in Gods eyes and every human was created with an important purpose in life.
I have 2 great daughters; Allie who is enrolled at WSU working towards her Nursing degree and Macy a sophomore in high school who wants to be a Special Education teacher when she grows up.
I have numerous hobbies or interests, one of those being garage sales. I love finding items that I can make something creative with; antiques, clothes, books or things that I just basically need. I could spend hours creating and organizing. I love working outside in my yard, fixing things, decorating, the quiet of the country, animals, walking, sports and watching HGTV, Extreme Home Makeover, John and Kate Plus Eight and Little People Big World.
After staying at home with my kids until they reached school age, I began looking for a full time job away from home. With my experience, Heartspring seemed like a good fit. Before working at Heartspring I worked for 5 years at Youthville in Newton as a lead house parent working with kids who were in need of care or who had been in trouble with the law. For a couple years I taught preschool three mornings a week at a preschool partially funded by a thrift store to help families who would otherwise not be able to afford it. My earlier years of experience involved growing up and working on my family’s farm in Eastern Colorado.
My job at Heartspring as a lead Speech and Language Assistant entails assisting the speech-language pathologists (SLP) with working directly with students as well as indirectly, by making anything that may assist with their success related to their communication goals. This could include making communication books, manipulatives used for direct services and language groups, social stories, scripts, schedules, visual supports, making data sheets and figuring data. I was encouraged to apply for this position after being a para for 5 years and decided that it would be a good way of encouraging myself to update my resume. The speech department was attractive to me because I believed I could use my creative talents in a greater way that I was not able to use as a para.
I believe helping our kids to better express their wants and needs and better connect with a world that sometimes seems foreign to them is crucial for their happiness and success.
My favorite part of my job is using my creativity to make a difference in our student’s lives as well as working and getting to know and enjoy our kids. I have learned so very much in the past 9 years. There have been many staff and kids that have contributed to making me not only more knowledgeable, but a better person. I love working for a place that strives for excellence and one that I can be proud to be a part of. My job is very fulfilling to me, knowing that I can use my talents to make a difference. When we can do this kind of work, work is not always work and life is rewarding.
In combination with my degree in Fine Arts with a concentration in drawing, I plan to complete my student teaching in order to get my degree in Art Education. Some day I would like to combine my experience of working with kids in a therapy setting with expressing themselves through art.