Erin Schwier, EdD, OTD, OTR/L 16 years as on Occupational Therapist with 15 years at Sierra Academy Matt Beltran, COTA/L- 10 years as a COTA at Sierra Academy Janice Clark, M.S., CCC-SLP- 35 years as a Speech and Language Pathologist, 16 years at Sierra Academy
Can you describe what a typical day is like for you at Sierra Academy?
Generally, we see our students in an individual and group settings. We also provide push in services in the classroom to support academics as well as community base interventions. Our goal is to integrate OT into the students’ day-to-day lives. This can include sports, classroom, work, and their health always with a very centered focus around student interest as well as their wants and needs.
What do you enjoy the most about coming to work each day?
It has to be working with the students and staff every day. Working at Sierra Academy makes it easy to come to work each day because each day is not just different, but also exciting. Each of us truly get to be creative in the therapeutic approach and are trusted by the entire team.
Can you give an example of a ‘Little Victory’ you’ve seen students achieve?
Little wins are exactly what we strive for with our students. This includes seeing them grow in the social pragmatics and academics as well as seeing students’ self-esteem grow which allows them to make and keep friends.
One former student used to consistently hide under the table and cry. He always felt like he was in trouble in middle school. Upon leaving Sierra Academy, he was that captain of our football team, graduated with a diploma, had numerous friends, and held a job outside of school.
What's special about the team at Sierra Academy?
Each and every one of the staff and teachers are warm and that makes it feel like we’re a family. Our staff is silly, creative, fun, and committed to the students. It is a very talented group that collaborates effectively. We compliment each other’s talents to build the community and create groups, activities based on these.
At Sierra Academy, we are truly student centered. We establish a sense of community with the students and family. Everyone is rooting for each students’ success with their peers, community, and academics. Our goal is to help the students be life-long learners.