A school delivering a language-based program for students grades 5-12 with complex profiles.

STAFF SPOTLIGHT

  • 14 Jan 2022 9:29 AM | Anonymous

     

    (Martha in front of the Hamilton stage)

    What do you do at LPS?

    I am a high school Literature and Language Arts teacher. I have been teaching at LPS since 2012.

    Where were you before you came to LPS?

    Before I came to LPS, my career in education encompassed several different facets. I was a high school English teacher, and directed a resource room in a public high school in Western Massachusetts. Additionally, I taught at the Linden Hill School in Northfield, Massachusetts, which was a school for middle school boys diagnosed with dyslexia. The school was founded over fifty years ago, and it was the first school in the United States specializing in educating middle school boys diagnosed with dyslexia. There, I was both a Literature and Language Arts teacher.

    What is your favorite part of being an educator?

    First, and foremost, having the privilege to work with such an amazing group of LPS students whose kindness, determination and courage allows them to reach their potential and goals is an extraordinary gift. Additionally, everyday I'm excited to be able to share all the wonders we can learn from books about ourselves, about the world's people, their cultures, struggles, and achievements.

    Why did you get into education?

    In my freshman year of college, I stepped into a middle school English class, as a reading tutor. There, I experienced a sense of wonder and privilege to be entrusted with helping students to know they could achieve. From that moment, I knew I would become a teacher.


    What keeps you motivated?

    I'm motivated by my students, and the joy of teaching and learning. I do believe that teaching and learning are reciprocal. At the end of each day, I recount all that I have learned, which guides me to do better the next day. For over four decades, this has been a guiding force in my teaching. And with this, I start each day anew, and though it may seem paradoxical, with a "beginner's " mind. This is what keeps me motivated!

    What is your most memorable student experience or favorite teaching moment?

    I have been so very fortunate to have experienced innumerable, amazing teaching moments and experiences. I do think collectively, and, very simply, what means the most to me is when students say, "Thank You", or write a thank you note expressing their sentiments of what they may have learned, or have been inspired to continue learning after they have graduated.

    What is the last book you read?

    The last book I read was The Education of an Idealist by Samantha Powers. The book I am presently reading is Solid Seasons: the Friendship of Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

    What shows are you currently binge watching?

    On PBS, I'm currently watching and loving the British production of James Herriot's novel "All Creatures Great and Small".

    Where is the best place you've traveled to and why?

    London is one of the best places I've traveled to for so many reasons. Though, right now, I would say attending theatrical performances in the West End, and being part of its cultural heritage was an extraordinary experience!

    Who is your biggest inspiration?

    My mother and father were my inspiration, and greatest teachers. They both immigrated to America after having survived the Armenian Genocide. They instilled in me the value of education, a work ethic, and family.

    What is something that might surprise us about you?

    The summer before my freshman year of college, I worked as a waitress, and at the same time, I had the opportunity to work as an assistant to a New York Times Washington bureau Pulitzer Prize winning journalist.

  • 03 Dec 2021 12:21 PM | Anonymous

    What is your personal philosophy?

    “The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the greatest intention.” (Kahlil Gibran)Laughter is the best medicine; having a sense of humor can get you through the worst of times. And as my dad always said, a smile goes a long way.

    Where were you before you came to LPS?

    I’ve been at LPS for eight years, and prior to that I provided Occupational Therapy Services in the Wayland Public School system for twelve years. I went to Simmons for my Master’s in Education in AT, and I’m so glad I did because I love what I do and where I do it. 

    Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

    I lived in a tent on the side of a mountain in Alaska for three months!

    What keeps you motivated?

    My motivation at work comes from the excitement of learning something new every day, whether from my colleagues or our students. It’s a gift to be part of a supportive, collaborative environment, and I’m inspired by the efforts our students put forth every single day. LPS is truly a special place! 

    What three traits define you?

    Compassionate, committed, and positive. 

    Last book you read?

    The last few books I’ve read include Jane Austen and Out of my Mind by Sharon Draper. I’m currently reading How to be an Antiracist by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi

    What do you like to do for fun?

    When I’m not at work I enjoy living on the beach (it’s a crazy commute but worth it), paddle boarding, sea kayaking, reading, baking, walking, running, family time, funny movies, puzzles, game night, and cats (with fingers crossed for a dog in the spring).

    Favorite Holiday Movie?

    My favorite holiday movie is Elf. Smiling's my favorite! 

    What shows are you currently binge watching?

    It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia while anxiously awaiting the final seasons of Doc Martin and Victoria.

    What's one thing you couldn't live without?

    A sense of humor and my husband and daughters who keep me laughing, even in the darkest times.

    Can you explain what you do at LPS? 

    I’m the Assistive Technology (AT) Specialist. AT, as defined by IDEA, is: “Any item, piece of equipment, software program, or product system that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of persons with disabilities.” AT services are defined as, “Any service that directly assists an individual with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device.” AT can be low tech, such as a reading strip with colored overlay for visual tracking, whereas high tech tools include online programs. Here are some of the high tech tools available to all our students at LPS: Read&WriteBookshareKami, and our most recent addition, BARD (Braille & Audio Reading Download; over 200,000 human voice audiobooks with unlimited copies and borrow time for all LPS students). The above AT tools enable students to listen to digital text, including their own typed text for editing, using text to speech. Additional features include adjustable speech rate, voice options, highlighting in sync with audio (or students can mute the audio and follow along at their independent reading rate), highlight tools, collect highlights, built in dictionary and picture dictionary, vocabulary list creator, word prediction, speech to text, audio notes, screen recordings, and more.

    One of the things I love most about LPS is that our educators follow the guidelines of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) by automatically differentiating. Students learn how they learn best and express what they know in the way that works best for them. They have the tools they need in order to be successful while simultaneously receiving remedial services from their teachers. Not every student needs the same tools to be successful - one size doesn’t fit all - but every student should have what they need so they can be successful. It’s like reading glasses; they’re specific to one's needs and without them we couldn’t see, therefore, glasses are within the scope of AT. Reading glasses aren’t cheating, and likewise, using AT tools isn’t cheating. Here’s my favorite UDL poster, which conveys this message perfectly.

  • 05 Nov 2021 12:03 PM | Anonymous

    Where were you before you came to LPS?

    I was working at the College Internship Program in Lee, MA as a student advisor. My role was to support young adults with learning differences with executive functioning, parent communication, medication management, and budgeting.

    What is your favorite part of being an educator?

    My favorite part about being an educator is learning from the students, and having a positive impact on their academic journey.

    Why did you get into education?

    My degree is in Youth Development which is a combination of education, social work, and non-profit studies. I got into education to empower students to use their voice, and take ownership of their education.

    What does true leadership mean to you?

    I believe true leadership means leading with and empowering those they are leading. A leader should be approachable yet challenge someone to be the best version of themselves.

    What is the best book you have ever read?

    Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

    What is your personal philosophy?

    Talk less, listen more

    What shows are you currently binge watching?

    Westworld and What If

    What three traits define you?

    Humorous, Helpful, Ambitious

    Where is the best place you've traveled to and why?

    My favorite place I have traveled to is Nazaré in Portugal. It is a unique beach town with the world’s biggest waves.

    Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

    I used to coach middle school wrestling.

  • 01 Oct 2021 11:33 AM | Anonymous

    Where were you before you came to LPS?

    Before joining LPS I was an Implementation Specialist in Rhode Island working for NE Basecamp. I had the opportunity to implement curriculum, coach and design professional development for teachers and use data to inform instruction. Prior to that I taught ELA, Special Education and Advanced Placement classes in grades 5-12 in Massachusetts.

    What are you most looking forward to in your new role with LPS?

    I am most looking forward to getting to know all of the fantastic LPS students, building relationships with the parents and families and learning from this amazing team!

    What is your favorite part of being an educator?

    My favorite part of being an educator is learning from my students and colleagues. I believe that part of everyone’s journey is to learn from the people around them. I am so lucky to be a part of a team of people that makes every day meaningful and reflective.

    What keeps you motivated?

    My 24 and 21 year old daughters keep me motivated. Their determination, empathy and amazing sense of humor inspires me to be my best. Sometimes it is just the smile I see on their face when they have met their goal or the perseverance they endure when overcoming obstacles. My daughters have a unique perspective on life that encourages me to be the best person I can be.

    What does true leadership mean to you?

    True leadership involves everyone! In order to be a good leader you must build relationships, trust and confidence with your colleagues and students. A leader must be an empathetic listener but also have the ability to clearly communicate, while being consistent yet flexible. We are all human and make mistakes, the true gift of being a human is learning and growing from your mistakes.

    Let’s switch gears….

    What shows are you currently binge watching?

    I love Netflix and Hulu. I am currently binge watching “Nine Perfect Strangers”, “ATYPICAL” and all the seasons of “Ozark.”

    What three traits define you?

    Dedicated, open-minded and optimistic.

    What's one thing you couldn't live without?

    I can not live without CHOCOLATE!

    What is the greatest challenge you have had to overcome in your life thus far?

    The greatest challenge I have had to overcome has been the loss of my father a little over a year ago. He was the person that taught me how to ride a bike, drive a car and was there every step of the way through my educational journey and even when I became a first time home owner. More importantly, he was a man that was patient (especially being a dad to 3 girls), kind and always gave sage advice without judgement. His passion was to be a teacher, but instead he chose to work several jobs at one time to support his family. On our yearly family trips to Cape Cod he would teach us about erosion and types of birds while showing us how to appreciate the little things like enjoying the sounds of the waves crashing against the shoreline. Losing a loved one is in an indescribable pain that poses challenges to every aspect of your life However, I am thankful that the memory of him lives on everyday in the stories our family shares about him, with his quirky flannel shirts we still wear and within my two daughters who encompass his witty sense of humor, determination and willingness to see the world through an educational lens.

    Where is the best place you've traveled to and why?

    I love to travel and have much more of the world to see, but my favorite place thus far was when I visited Costa Rica about 10 years ago. The people, landscape and food was absolutely incredible!

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