I have served people with developmental disabilities since 2002. I spent the first three years as a paraprofessional at Crest Ridge High School working with middle school students in the Special Education Classroom. During this time I began taking classes to get my Bachelors of Science in Special Education for Mild to Moderate Cross Categorical. To complete my degree plan I had to quit working at the school to fulfill my last few credit hours, so I did my student teaching and several other requirements which needed to be met during that year. After graduation in 2006 I was hired by La Monte R-IV School District as the Elementary Special Education Teacher for five years and then moved to the High School Special Education Teachers position for the last two years. During my last two years at La Monte, I sought to get a Master’s of Science Degree in Secondary School Administration, which I finished during the summer of 2013. I left La Monte R-IV School District in May, 2013 to move to Forsyth, Missouri. My husband and I bought an automotive business and I thought I would be able to find a position fairly quickly. It took two long years to finally find my place here at Developmental Connections in the Creative Day Services Program. I have been happily serving the people of Taney County since May of 2015.
What is the biggest challenge you face in your position?
We have a large variety of abilities within our program. I never want to short change some for the abilities of another. So my biggest challenge is to make sure I fulfill the needs of all and provide challenging, but manageable work for every person who attends Creative Day Services.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
When I taught I would always say I am looking for the light bulb moment. At Creative Day Services we can still have those light bulb moments, but they are often farther between. So the most rewarding aspect of my job is knowing that I can help someone else achieve their goals and help them grow personally along the way. I just want to help make a difference in their lives for their betterment.
What is the one thing you want people to know about Developmental Connections?
The people I work with want what everyone else in the world wants: they want to be valued for who they are. Each and every one of them are unique and wonderful people if you take the time to get to know them.
What is one way in which our community can help foster the mission of Developmental Connections?
A couple of ways in which our community can help foster our mission is to open up opportunities in which our people can participate more within community events and also to donations to our programs.
How are you personally touched by the work you do?
Every day I am personally touched by the people I work with. They have such wonderful spirits and great personalities. They make me want to be and do better for them. I love what I do, but truthfully the way I am personally touched can’t be put into words. It is just this amazing thing that reoccurs every time I am with them. I am blessed to be able to work with these people every day.