Why did you choose this specific field?
I did a lot of volunteer work in college working with kids: after school programs, partners in reading through the local library, child advocate, and volunteer work at the juvenile detention center. I absolutely loved working with kids and watching them grow. I spent the first 7 years of my career as a child and adolescent outreach therapist, working with children and adolescents in their homes, in the community, and in schools. I enjoy the school atmosphere.
What's a day like for you at High Road?
There is no typical day…which is what I enjoy the most. When the students arrive, we make sure that they have eaten breakfast and start rotations. The students love learning life skills, like ordering food at local restaurants, shopping, and cooking. We enjoy going to a local gymnastics place and swimming for physical education.
Daily communication with parents is key. We have daily communication logs. In addition, I often send pictures and texts to parents to let them know of their student’s accomplishments.
What do you enjoy most about coming to school every day?
What I enjoy most about coming to work is that I enjoy coming to work! I love the students and my co-workers.
Can you give an example of a ‘Little Victory’ you’ve seen a student achieve at school?
Last summer, we studied ocean animals. On the last day of ESY, we took our 5 students to the Shedd Aquarium, which is about a two-hour drive. They touched sting rays and star fish, saw the ocean animals they studied, and enjoyed the dolphin show. We stopped for pizza at a sit-down restaurant on the way home. The students did amazing. A student that struggles with spontaneous conversation talked the entire day. When we dropped this student off at home that night, her mom thanked us with tears in her eyes for this opportunity, which she never would have been able to provide for her.