Advocating for Children with DisabilitiesÂ for Over 15 years
Special Education Advocate
As a special education advocate, Dawn has successfully obtained the appropriate support for children with a variety of disabilities.Â Â In addition to an extensive background as a special educator, she also has the insights gained from being a parent of a child with a disability.Â Â Knowing the system from the perspective of a parent and as an educator, she is well versed with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), its sometimes complicated procedures to be followed, and the other laws protecting people with disabilities.Â Â She is experienced in navigating the system with collaborative and resistive educators, as well as bureaucratic administrators. While each child is unique, Dawn, as a special educator,Â is knowledgeable about the services that are most often recommended and the options available in order to provide the appropriate, least restrictive environment.Â Â As a parent, she uses her knowledge of the laws protecting people with disabilities andÂ due process when needed to protect her childâ€™s or her own civil liberties.
As an Educational Consultant, Dawn assessed children with a variety of educational difficulties.Â Â Once their difficulties were identified, Dawn developed the appropriate learning plan based on their strengths and weaknesses.Â Whether they qualified for special education support or whether it was determined that their needs could be met in the regular classroom, Dawn regularly consulted with the teachers and other school personnel to help insure that the childâ€™s needs were being met.Â On the occasions that a childâ€™s needs could not be met within the schoolâ€™s setting, Dawn investigated and obtained the appropriate support,Â Â including a one-on-one paraprofessional, a more intensive program,Â an alternative schoolÂ and an extended school year.
(Jefferson County Public Schools 1998 -2004)
Special Education Teacher
Building on the studentâ€™s individualized learning plan, Dawn used research based instructional methods to successfully teach students with a wide variety of difficulties and disabilities related to reading, writing, math, language, behavior and health.
(Jefferson County Public Schools 2004-2009)
Dawn has worked in a variety of school districts in the Denver metropolitan area including:Â Jefferson County, Denver, Cherry Creek and Aurora.
M.Ed., Special Education, Moderate Needs (K-12) University of Northern Colorado
B.S. ElementaryÂ Education (K-6) and University of Colorado