SPICE 1 Grades 7/8
(Social Pragmatic Independence Communication and Emotional Regulation)
I teach a self-contained special education classroom for students with Autism. I have 4 paraprofessionals and together we support our students using individualized Autism strategies. Each student comes with their own unique set of needs in the areas of communication, sensory, emotional regulation, social and academics. Our mission is to learn each student's secret language and to work to clarify their environment to the point that they can function with ever increasing independence.
I was born in Wyoming and grew up in Brisbane Australia. My mom moved us to Casa Grande, AZ in 1980 and we have been here ever since. I graduated from Casa Grande Union High School, then Central Arizona College with my AA, Arizona State University with a BAS in Human Development and Family Resource and Rio Salado College with my Post Bach Teaching Certificate in Cross Category Special Education. I was originally going to college to become a Home Economics teacher but during my last semester at ASU they dropped that degree from their Education program. I graduated and went on to work in the school cafeteria and substitute teach for Gilbert Public Schools where I subbed an Autism classroom. I loved it so much I took a job as a paraprofessional and pursued my teaching certification in special ed. Many years ago now I earned my black belt in Tae kwon do but now prefer Yoga which I teach in my classroom each day. My family consists of a sister and a brother, four grown children and three grandchildren. I have been teaching students with Autism here at Greenfield Junior High School for 11 years.