Staff of the Month: Tashiemia

What impact has Tashiemia had on colleagues and students over the past month? Tashiemia demonstrates punctuality and professionalism daily. She takes excellent data collection on Catalyst and demonstrates strength in conscientiously implementing programs. Tashiemia implements targets as written by the teacher and gives thoughtful feedback on programs. In addition, she is quick to create new materials needed for a student’s program. Her data is always consistent with the performance seen by the teacher. Tashiemia cares about our student’s programming and wants them to get the most out of their time in school. She has a true passion [...]

2019-10-14T14:21:28-04:00October 11th, 2019|

Student of the Month: Jay

It has been such an honor to be part of Jay’s education. To watch him grow to the point where he can focus on tasks and start to truly explore his academics has been a great joy. What has Jay done over the past month to achieve Student of the Month? Jay has adjusted very well to school after the summer break. He comes to school every day with a big smile on his face. He has a natural calm, laid back presence that is contagious and helps all around him relax and enjoy [...]

2019-10-11T13:20:14-04:00October 11th, 2019|

Autism Cruise from a Staff’s Perspective

One of our amazing staff members, Michael Shashaty, had the pleasure of traveling on the Autism Cruise over the summer. Prior to this summer, I had never been on a plane. Before that, I had visited only a handful of states. Traveling was not something I envisioned myself doing, and certainly not to another country. Autism has provided me with many blessings in life: a career, friends, colleagues and a purpose. A few weeks ago, I found myself on the most breath-taking island in the world, swimming alongside fish in crystal blue lagoons and conversing with people [...]

2019-09-19T09:42:00-04:00September 19th, 2019|

Helping Students With Autism Reach Their Goals

Amy Farmer, Education Director at B.E.S.T. Academy, recently wrote an opinion piece in the The CT Mirror entitled "Helping Students With Autism Reach Their Goals." "While our students might interpret the world differently, their thoughts, fears and hopes are no less important. It’s part of our job to ensure they reach their goals. Our students aged 18 to 21 are about to enter the real world. That can be very scary to the families we serve. To help our students prepare, we encourage participation in our Transition program, which provides the opportunity to gain real jobs skills while working for [...]

2019-11-12T15:20:58-05:00April 24th, 2019|

Meet the Team: Melissa Dirzius

Melissa Dirzius, Special Education Teacher & Art Teacher I began volunteering with special needs students in my High School Child Development Center.  I had considered several other fields as I continued my education — psychology, Social Work, BCBA but found they did not quite provide me what I needed.  In the end, I found that the combination of the creativity of programming and assessing our students, along with the personal time spent educating each one individually, allowed me to see their little victories were exactly what I wanted. There is [...]

2019-01-31T21:33:05-05:00January 31st, 2019|

B.E.S.T. Academy uses robot to help students with autism

WFSB Eyewitness 3 visited the B.E.S.T. Academy in Wallingford, CT to learn more about Milo, a robot designed to assist students with autism. Milo is being utilized at B.E.S.T. Academy to help students with greetings, staying calm, and how to speak to other people.“The students engaged are making rapid progress, they're remember their skills from the lesson before. They're able to use them.” –Kyli Jones, social worker at B.E.S.T. AcademyThe story and video were published by WFSB Eyewitness 3 Read full article and watch the video

2019-01-05T21:42:20-05:00December 8th, 2018|

Teacher Spotlight

This month, we would like to put the staff spotlight on Ms. Ashley Kimbell! Ms. Kimbell joined the B.E.S.T. Academy in 2016 as a special education teacher. She received her Master's degree from Southern Connecticut State University in 2017. This is Ms. Kimbell's first teaching position and she has truly risen to the challenges of this job. Currently, Ms. Kimbell is the teacher in the Purple Room, which has some of the youngest students at B.E.S.T. Her patience and kind nature have helped the students of the Purple Room to make great progress both academically and behaviorally. [...]

2018-12-27T15:14:11-05:00November 22nd, 2018|
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