Meet Our Leaders
Springall Academy School Director Lanae Aguilera started here in 1996, after completing her BA in psychology from San Diego State University. She furthered her education by attending the University of San Diego, receiving her master’s in counseling as well as her Pupil Personnel Services Credential in 2000. Over the years Mrs. Aguilera has held a variety of roles at Springall, working in the classroom, in the Support Center, and co-creating the Counseling and Guidance Program with former director Dr. Heather Dierolf, where she served as a counselor for eight years. She also coordinates the SDSU volunteer program that has been a staple of our program for over 20 years. In the fall of 2008, she became an administrator, allowing her to display her passion daily for motivating students as she simultaneously guides them to reach their full potential; and as of school year 2016–2017, Mrs. Aguilerra advanced to her current role as director of the whole school. In addition to ensuring Springall Academy’s exemplary reputation every day, Mrs. Aguilera is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of San Diego, teaching courses in the graduate counseling program.
Springall Academy Associate Director Jena Lehr started her career at Springall Academy in 2003, after completing her B.A. is psychology at San Diego State University (SDSU). She began as a classroom assistant, then moved into Springall’s Support Center while also working as a certified personal fitness trainer. Upon finding her passion for counseling, Ms. Lehr attended National University and earned her master’s in counseling, as well as her Pupil Personnel Services Credential, in 2007. She then transitioned to Springall’s Counseling Department, where she worked for nine years, managing the program’s WorkAbility grant and coordinating the SDSU volunteer program, which has been a key partnership with Springall for 25 years. In addition to being a trained facilitator in the SEEDS (Self-Esteem Education and Development in Sexuality) program, Ms. Lehr played a vital role in implementing the internationally recognized Character Counts program into our culture. In 2016, she joined the administrative leadership team as the Associate Director for both Springall Academy and Sierra Academy. Ms. Lehr is excited at the opportunity to work with both school programs and to continue to help students and staff reach their full potential.
Technology in the Classroom
Technology-based learning is a vital supplement to the Springall Academy’s core instruction, to familiarize our students with up-to-date hardware and software and to acclimate them to the products and programs so prevalent in their daily environment. Accordingly, we make concerted efforts to stay technologically current in our classrooms, outfitting them with multiple computers, all loaded with the latest instructional programs and teaching aids. We enhance basic computer skills and knowledge with leading-edge advancements, like disability-specific interactive software programs, adaptive technologies and equipment, and iPad-assisted learning.
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When we talk about “Transition Services,” we mostly think of transition goals and ITPs for our older students. Some programs wait until students reach “transition age” to begin to focus on this crucial area. At Springall, we believe it is never too early to create a concrete plan for generalizing the learning that takes place on campus to the greater community! Because a “transition” can happen at any time in a student’s life, all students participate in our Community to Classroom (C2C) Program.
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By Lyndy Gelb Cuevas, Springall Academy Occupational Therapist
I began working here in August 1998. I knew from the age of 12 that I wanted to become an occupational therapist. I have a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a master’s degree in occupational therapy from the University of Southern California. I graduated in 1997 and spent my first year as an occupational therapist traveling around the United States working in various hospitals and nursing homes. My passion was working with children, and so when I moved back to San Diego, I pursued my career in pediatrics. That is when I found Springall Academy and have been here ever since.
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Physical Education Program
The Springall Academy Physical Education Program is an all-inclusive program teaching fundamental skills in football, soccer, basketball, lacrosse, softball, volleyball, running, badminton, golf, volleyball, and table tennis. Each student participates daily in a 30-minute physical education class period, which includes exercises and skill instruction in all the sports listed. Each student is simply asked to “try his or her best.” The foundation of the program is physical fitness. However, heavy emphasis is placed on teamwork, collaboration, and cooperation.
As a branch of our Physical Education Program, Springall Academy is proud to participate in a competitive CAPSES Sports League with other nonpublic schools in the San Diego area. The team sports that we play are flag football, basketball, and softball. Games are played on Fridays during the school day, giving every student an opportunity to join the team and play in the games.
Like our overall school program, our PE programming is based on positive reinforcement and supporting gains in self-responsibility, which prepare our students to be full participants in the larger community. We want all of our students to shine like the stars they are!
Springall’s Counseling Program has many aspects. We follow the American School Counseling Association’s guidelines and Code of Ethics. Specifically, this means focusing our program on the three domains of school counseling: (1) academics; (2) socialization; and (3) career preparation.
To begin, our counselor works with all the students and teachers on campus—both individually and in small or large groups (either classroom groups or focus groups). Focus groups are groups of students placed together to work on a similar area of need. Some of our focus group topics include: SDIEP (self-directed IEP/self-advocacy), social skills, anger management, and goal setting. Some groups meet weekly and some meet monthly.
The goal of the counselor is to see every student in at least one group throughout the school year. In addition, individual students can make appointments with our counselor anytime to discuss their IEP, high school planor credits, job placement, or just to talk. The Counseling Department also organizes school events like School Spirit Days, Career Day, Winter Carnival, and the high school prom.
Extracurricular activities are what make Springall extra-special! Available opportunities change based on the interests and needs of the students, but click here for a few examples from past school years.