Vocational Story :
When I was just ten-years-old, Russ stole my heart. Russ was a young neighbor with Down Syndrome. That same year, I read the book, The Family that Nobody Wanted by Helen Doss. My original plan was to change the world by adopting 12 kids with disabilities. As an adult, I did adopt, but just ONE child with autism. Johnny taught me so much and I began to teach other parents of children with disabilities, first informally, and later as a grant funded Parent Trainer. From that position, I was motivated to pursue a career as a Special Educator which I did in a high school setting, teaching students with learning disabilities and ADHD. My successes teaching strategies led to a move to coordinate a learning strategies program at a university, and to teaching opportunities in Special Education and Math Education courses in their teacher education program. Though I originally avoided the field of teaching, I have loved every opportunity to teach and am energized by my interactions with students both in and out of the classroom. Because my first venture into the field of special education was motivated by faith, it is exciting to now teach at Messiah College where this intertwining of my faith and interest in disabilities is honored.
Practical responses to community needs (like book drives) and Crafts, especially for Christmas.
Melinda Mae by Shel Silverstein
"Have you heard of tiny Melinda Mae,
Who ate a monstrous whale?
She thought she could,
She said she would,
So she started in right at the tail.
And everyone said, "You're much too small,"
But that didn't bother Melinda at all,
She took little bites and she chewed very slow,
Just like a little girl should...
...and eighty-nine years later she ate that whale
Because she said she would!!!"