2018 Literacy Interventionist Scholarship
The Colorado Council for Learning Disabilities is pleased to honor two outstanding scholarship recipients. Kris Yokley and Tammy Jacobson are currently enrolled in a master’s degree program in special education and a Literacy Interventionist Program. Kris will receive her degree from Regis University and Tammy will graduate from University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (CCCS).
Kris Yokley is truly an exceptional educator. Michael Carlson, the assistant principal at Eldorado Elementary School in Douglas County remarks,
“She strikes me as a one-in-a million hire – someone whose expertise and skill set happened to find our school at just the right time. During our initial RTI brainstorming meeting on how to improve the process for our students, Kris was quick to share suggestions and brilliantly built off the contributions of our new RTI coordinator. While she brilliantly works with small groups as well as individual students, she is also aware of systematic needs and proactively seeks my input on adopting more of ‘train the trainer’ model so that Eldorado teachers can be empowered to implement sound literacy interventions across the board.”
Kris remarks on what makes an effective teacher,
“We must see our students as gifts, not strugglers. We must plan instruction for individuals, not groups. We must be systematic, not haphazard. We must be intentional, not trend followers. We must be explicit, not vague.”
Tammy Jacobson is described as exceptional for her professionalism, intelligence, and attention to detail. Dr. Elaine Cheesman, associate professor at UCCS, states in her letter of recommendation,
“Tammy demonstrates outstanding ability to learn and apply very complex course content. Tammy also serves as a mentor for beginning-level students in the program at UCCS and helps coach other students by critiquing video-taped and live lesson demonstrations.”
In her essay on what makes an effective teacher she shares,
“An effective teacher must always be curious about what is working, and what isn’t working and what will work better. A curious teacher will examine and reflect on her own teaching practices. A curious teacher may look back at practices used historically and ask, ‘Is there still value in those practices?’ The curious teacher will look deeply into research and trends to find what is relevant and make informed decisions as to what to implement in her teaching practices.”
In her autobiography Tammy acknowledges,
“I can only impact a limited number of students. However, as an advocate, I can multiply that impact. I advocated for additional Orton-Gillingham training for myself and the other resource teacher in my building. With encouragement, our administrator also pursued additional training for our interventionists as well as primary grade classroom teachers. It is through this advocacy that I can extend the impact of appropriate interventions.”
2017 CCLD Literacy Interventionist Scholarship Recipients
The Colorado Council for Learning Disabilities is pleased to honor two outstanding scholarship recipients.
Sara Scroggins currently attends Colorado College and is working towards a Master’s Degree as a Literacy Interventionist. When asked to describe why she decided to pursue this Reading Interventionist degree, Sara states,
“My passion is for students to be successful and ensure they are able to learn in their own individual way. As a Literacy Interventionist, I can continue to influence the lives of students by believing in them, building a relationship, and provide them the tools they need to be successful in life.”
Rebecca Thompson, assistant principal of Odyssey Elementary School, remarks,
“Despite the fact that Sara has taught for many years, she continues to strive to increase her knowledge and improve her practices. Her enthusiasm doesn’t end with the learning of new programs, as can often be the case in education. She is very flexible and molds her instruction to what the students need based on her knowledge. She uses what she learns and reflects on the effects of its use.”
Karen Bixler, a special education teacher at Odyssey Elementary School, says of Sara,
“Sara demonstrates patience and understanding and that quality is a must in the teaching profession. The relationships she has built with her students demonstrate that she truly cares for their wellbeing and achievement, both socially and academically. Sara’s willingness to be open-minded and flexible helped create highly successful inclusive practices for students with special needs. “
The CCLD Board is honored to recognize Sara as a 2017 scholarship recipient.
2017 Literacy Interventionist Scholarship Recipient
Kelly Obeginski is currently pursuing her Master of Arts as a Literacy Interventionist at Colorado College. Kelly reflects about her passion for working with students with disabilities in her autobiography.
“This journey has developed a sense for what individual students need on an almost subconscious level. The skills, knowledge, and motivation required to provide effective instruction for students with learning disabilities begins with the strong foundation any teacher needs to be effective in educating students. This includes a desire and willingness to continue learning. Each student presents unique needs and challenges. Teachers are continually learning if they truly desire to provide students with the educational foundation they need to be successful in life given their unique combination of abilities and skills.”
Erin Craig-Fischi, a colleague at Ranch Creek Elementary School, remarks,
“Kelly’s belief that all students can learn to read proficiently, combined with her strong command of differentiated teaching strategies, makes her an incredible interventionist. Kelly’s collaboration with classroom teachers ensures we provide each student the most customized, appropriate fit to help them reach their reading goals.”
Susan Paulson, principal at Ranch Creek Elementary School states,
“Kelly is a distinguished teacher in many different ways. Through her outstanding performance as a second grade teacher and as a literacy coordinator and reading interventionist, Kelly has conscientiously and effectively served the needs of hundreds of students struggling to read, including those with disabilities. She is a top-notch diagnostician, she provides high levels of motivation during instruction, and she is extraordinarily skilled in guiding students to meet high expectations for learning and behavior. “
The CCLD Board is honored to recognize Kelly as a 2017 scholarship recipient.