Ashley Fitzgerald, Special Education Teacher

Why did you choose this specific field?

I made this decision back in high school, after working with the best buddy program which paired me with a student with an intellectual disability. I did things with this person at school and in the community. I still have a relationship with my school’s special education teacher to this day Even prior to this, my mom had taught ski lessons to individuals who are physical and mentally disabled. I enjoyed my time working with this population then and determined that it was something I wanted to continue

What do you enjoy most about coming to school every day?

Seeing student progress. Having students get excited about learning. Watching those small moments that give students confidence. Seeing students get excited about their academics. Having the opportunity to find ways to get them interested in their learning and engaged in new topics.

Can you give an example of a ‘Little Victory’ you’ve seen a student achieve at High Road School?

Three students who all started the year unable to do single digit addition are now able to complete double digit addition with use of their tools such as number lines. One of these students has nearly mastered all of his single digit addition facts!

Can you describe something special about your team and the school?

No two days are the same, and no two students are the same. Staff here are constantly collaborating to best meet our students’ ever changing needs. Our staff show up every day for the kids. They are here to see the students learn and want to help provide the kids with the skills necessary not just to function at HRS but also to function in all parts of society.

What is next for you in your career?

I would like to pursue a PhD in some field related to behavior analysis, after some time off of course. This will make me stronger as a teacher so I can better help my students. Even with my degree in special education, I knew even working in general education the skills from that degree would be tremendously helpful