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Staff Spotlights

carolyn levitan and husband at dining room table

FAST FACTS:

  • I'm an Occupational Therapist (OT) at LPS and teach students in all grades. I use real life and simulated activities to teach executive functioning, fine motor, visual motor, and visual perceptual skills. The students work on their executive functioning skills through multi-step activities (like planning and cooking in the kitchen). I also work with students in preparing for post high school.

  • I have been an OT for 38 years. This is my 2nd year at LPS, and my 21st year teaching. In my years teaching in schools I have worked with students ranging in age from 3 to 22. Prior to teaching in schools I worked in hospitals and rehabilitation centers.

  • I have 3 smart, funny, and caring daughters ages 23-32.  I love baking, entertaining, and reading a good book on the beach. I grew up on Long Island and moved to Massachusetts when I graduated college. I now live in Needham.

Read More about Carolyn Levitan, Occupational Therapist
michelle clinton high school reading teacher portrait in front of purple flowers

For June's Staff Spotlight, we are excited to get to know Michelle Clinton, our High School Reading Tutor.

What were you like as a student?

As a student in grade school, high school, college, and graduate school, I was quiet but hardworking. I did not learn quickly or easily.  I was responsible and had a really good work ethic though and spent a lot of time after school and courses completing my homework and studying.  My commitment and perseverance resulted in good grades and perfect attendance awards, even an award for perfect attendance in college (haha).  I was very fortunate to have friends and family to help push and support me all along the way.

Where were you before LPS?

Before I came to LPS 22 years ago, I worked as a teacher assistant in an elementary Cross Age Program in the Hudson Public Schools. I worked alongside three very experienced teachers and learned a lot through observation of their very different but effective teaching styles.  Additionally, I worked as an assistant teacher in a Montessori School in Framingham for some time. I was curious to learn about and see various methods of teaching in place firsthand before venturing out on my own.   

What is your favorite part of being an educator?

My most favorite part of being an educator is

Read More about Michelle Clinton, High School Reading Tutor
Amanda (Mandy) Nardone, Occupational Therapist

Where were you before you came to LPS? 

Before LPS, I was working on multidisciplinary interprofessional grant funded program called Project Career. The program provided assistive technology, academic and vocational supports to college students with traumatic brain injuries. I worked on that grant for the 5 years it was funded while I attended OT school at night. Project Career was an opportunity I am so grateful for; I got to join an amazing team to build a program that ended up being very successful. I learned a TON, worked with truly incredible clients, got experience with research and publishing, and my years with Project Career solidified that OT was the best fit for me professionally. Working with such a great team also solidified that WHO you work with is super important - and the staff and team at LPS is one of the many things that drew me to work here!

What made you want to be an OT?

I always knew I wanted to work in the health field, but I actually didn’t know much about occupational therapy. When I finished undergrad, I was working in adult mental health. One day my supervisor said to me, “you know, you should really be an OT”. I started researching and I found that occupational therapy addresses people’s physical needs but also the vital importance of people’s psychological and emotional well-being to enhance participation and quality of life. I mean, when you read that…who wouldn’t want to be an OT!? Every place I had an educational fieldwork placement or have worked, I have loved the role of OT. 

Read More about Amanda (Mandy) Nardone, Occupational Therapist
Matt Ferrara, Middle School Science Teacher

For this month's Teacher Spotlight, we're getting to know Matt Ferrara, one of our Middle School Science teachers.

What is your favorite part of being an educator?
Kids are natural scientists. They see the world through a lens that is still largely unbent by social and intellectual conformity. As a result of my students’ raw, unblemished curiosity, I learn new things every day. For example, a student recently asked me how fast chimpanzees could run. I certainly didn’t know off the top of my head, so we found out. And now I don’t think I’ll ever forget that chimpanzees can run up to 25 mph. 

What keeps you motivated?
I’ve had jobs where I’ve come home at the end of a long day and asked myself, “Did I do anything that mattered today?” or “What good did I do today?” I never ask that question at LPS. All I have to do is look at the students in my class and my sense of purpose crystalizes.

Read More about Matt Ferrara, Middle School Science Teacher
Rosa Ortega, Speech-Language Pathologist

Where were you before you came to LPS?

Before Learning Prep, I worked in Boston at an Insurance company for 13 years. Once I had my children, I wanted to be home with them, so I opened a small childcare program in my home. After about 3 years, I took the position at Learning Prep via a friend’s recommendation. I quickly realized my passion for Early Education. The added benefit of working with H.S. students has made this a very rewarding career for me at LPS.

What is your favorite part of being an educator? 

Every day is a new experience. Morning greetings and hugs from the children are always a wonderful way to start the day, but seeing a smile on a H.S. student’s face when interacting with the children is priceless!

Read More about Rosa Ortega, Speech-Language Pathologist