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SCSOS Spotlight

atp teacher Tan nguyen

atp teacher Tan nguyen

Educator Spotlight: Tan Nguyen
Tan Nguyen has served as the teacher in one of our SCSOS ATP Classrooms for the past eight years. “It’s exciting to come to work,” he said. “SCSOS is like a family.”
Born in San Francisco and raised in Sacramento, Tan moved to Yuba City four years ago. He attended UC Davis and earned his bachelor’s degree in Sociology. He attended National University and earned his master’s degree in Special Education and his Mod/Severe Special Education Credential.
Tan began his career at SCSOS in 2015 in the ATP Classroom that used to be at Park Place North. He attributes his success to the support from his mentor, fellow SPED teacher Elizabeth Ballou. He says he uses many of her strategies that he has tailored to his students’ needs.
Tan’s mother lives in Sacramento and his only sister lives in San Francisco. He has one adorable nephew. Tan has been married to fellow SPED teacher Bryan Statter for the past five years.
Tan loves to cook and share the meals with his friends. He also loves going out to dinner with friends. He and Bryan love going on road trips. Their most recent trip was to Utah and Idaho where they visited Salt Lake City and the Ice Caves.
Tan thoroughly enjoys his work with his students. Each student has his or her own goals that Tan and his staff work towards achieving. Their rapport and relationships with their students provide the foundation for the learning that is so apparent in the classroom.
Tan’s commitment and dedication are second to none. SCSOS is fortunate to have him as part of our team.
“You were made for the place where your real passion meets compassion, because there lies your real purpose.”
-Ann Voskamp
Published: May 3, 2021
ATP Teacher and para educators

ATP Teacher and para educators

Lavonne Jensen, Roberta Langley, Debbie McCarthy, Marilee Perez and Josephine Tabios
SCSOS Adult Transition Program: LaVonne Jensen’s Class
Meeting students’ needs is a trademark of our SCSOS Adult Transition Classrooms. LaVonne Jensen’s classroom services eleven students who are part of our most vulnerable population of students. The students attend class in cohorts: Five students attend Cohort A: Mondays and Tuesdays. Four students attend Cohort B on Thursdays and Fridays. Two students attend Cohort C which is distance learning.
Teacher LaVonne Jensen, Para-educators Roberta Langley, Debbie McCarthy-1:1, Marilee Perez and Josephine Tabios use the county adopted “Unique” curriculum. Unique Transition Curriculum has monthly themes that focus on functional living skills, social skills, grooming, and hygiene. The component they use the most is the “Core Tasks” these are Life Skills tasks in Task Analysis form. It is a visual step-by-step, repetitive approach to helping their students develop practical life skills. There are fifteen different tasks that students are taught from sweeping floors to wiping down tables to washing windows. Mrs. Jensen’s ATP class is working on prerequisite skills and practice in the classroom with hands-on-tasks.   The goal is to have students master skills in independent living, social skills, training or education and pre-vocation.  This is to help students become as independent as possible in their adult lives.  Para Roberta is working with all three classrooms at ATP in the newly started Culinary Program, and the local Chamber of Commerce fully embraces the efforts these students are making towards independence.
Each morning when the students come in, they follow a visual schedule as most cannot read and most are not verbal. Each student works on hygiene goals as well as soft skills in the area of pre-vocation. The goal is to assist the students to become independent and contributing citizens.
The staff in this classroom has a combined total of 110 years of collective experience in special education; they are truly a dream team. The environment created by the staff in this classroom is one of inclusion and support. Students are learning to become productive citizens within their community due to the diligent efforts of the teacher and para-educators.
If you would like to learn more about our SCSOS ATP Programs, please contact Janine Hughes, Director of Special Education at (530) 822-2911 or email 
Published: April 7, 2021
ATP Teacher and Para Educator

ATP Teacher and Para Educator

LeeAnne Martin and Dawn Patterson
SCSOS Adult Transition Program
Aiding adolescent adults to autonomy

SCSOS Adult Transition Program
Aiding adolescent adults to autonomy

 Although most of this school year has been spent in distance learning, our nine ATP students (ages 18-22) returned to small cohort classes beginning February 22. Students now attend two days per week from 8:45 to 1:15. During this time, students have been excited to return to in person instruction in order to continue working on their goals in the areas of education, employment and independent living.
 Teacher Lee Anne Martin has designed a curriculum to teach her students basic life skills such as resume writing, career exploration and mock interviews. Additionally, students learn necessary math skills to operate a class store, balance an ongoing budget, coupled with writing checks to pay bills. Students also plan meals, complete grocery lists, and navigate the community using the local transit system to purchase necessary goods and supplies.
Inspiring and Passionate: Two words that best describe SCSOS ATP Teacher Lee Anne Martin and ATP Para educator Dawn Patterson. From the moment you enter the classroom and observe the interactions between educators and students, it is obvious that supporting students to become the best that they can be is the ultimate goal. Much time and effort has been put into the classroom in order to provide an environment for students to learn practical life skills. The strong relationships that Lee Anne and Dawn have with their students are the foundation from which the learning grows.
Teacher Lee Anne Martin says the focus of her classroom is to offer these adult students the necessary life skills to experience opportunities and responsibilities of being a productive, capable and independent citizen of the community. The classroom community, referred to as “Life University” represents a mini community where students gain a better understanding of how life decisions can dynamically impact the stability of their future independence.
“Our Adult Transition program is geared to assist our students in their next step in life after they complete our program. Our goal is to support them and provide them the necessary skills that they need in order to meet their goals for adulthood,” Special Education Director Janine Hughes said. “Each student is on his or her own individual path and our staff work hard at supporting each goal and providing them the instruction both in the classroom and out in the community to aid in their success!’
Published: March 18, 2021
Educator spotlight: Anthony Hearns

Educator spotlight: Anthony Hearns

If you have visited the county offices since August or work at the county offices, you have had the privilege of meeting a wonderful employee. Anthony has served as a custodian for SCSOS for one year. He started at Shady Creek, then was moved to the county offices at Klamath Lane in August. Any time you see Anthony, he greets you with a warm hello and smiling eyes.
Anthony was born and raised in Compton, California. His childhood was filled with gangs, drugs and violence. Both of his parents died violently when he was very young so his grandmother raised him for most of his young life. After graduating from Compton High School, Anthony longed for a better life. “I realized that I’m the only male in my blood line that could make a difference,” Anthony said.
He visited his aunt for Thanksgiving one year in Yuba City and he thought it was the quietest city on Earth. Shortly thereafter, Anthony gathered everything he owned and moved to Yuba City. Once he was settled, he went back to Compton to retrieve his two nieces and two nephews who have lived with him ever since.
Anthony met his wife Cheryl at church and they have been married for seven years. Cheryl serves as a para-educator for SCSOS. Anthony enjoys spending time with his family and serving in his church.
Anthony considers himself a survivor. He said that in Compton a person is lucky to live past 21 years of age. Some of those who live there want to make a new life for themselves elsewhere, but they don’t believe they can. Others are brainwashed to believe that they have to stay there.
Anthony says that SCSOS is one of the best places to work. “I enjoy coming to work,” he said. “The employees here are my family.” He takes pride in his work and sees his purpose to spread love to those around him. SCSOS is fortunate to have him as part of our team.
Educator Spotlight: Mrs. Bea

Educator Spotlight: Mrs. Bea

Miss Bea
Educator Spotlight: Beatriz Caratachea (Mrs. Bea)
If you ever have the opportunity to drive by the corner of Pennington and Connecticut in Live Oak in the early morning hours on a school day, you will have the privilege of seeing her. Mrs. Caratachea, whom the students affectionately call “Mrs. Bea,” is on the job helping students cross the street to get to school.
“I am the first person that the students see on their way to school,” Mrs. Bea said. “It is important for me to have a positive attitude and give the students someone to look up to.”
Mrs. Bea has served at Luther Elementary School in Live Oak for the past four years. She serves as a para-educator for kindergarten and second grade, front dismissal and crossing guard. She said she loves her work at Luther because it’s such a positive place. “I love seeing the students every day,” she said. “When I am at the corner, the parents often roll down their windows to say hi and to thank me for what I do.”
Luther Elementary Principal Parveen Bains said, “Mrs. Bea is a tremendous asset to this school. Her positivity is huge. She creates a positive connection for our students.” Mrs. Bains also stated that Mrs. Bea received crossing guard training and she receives monthly training for her para-educator position from Assistant Principal, Julie Crandall.
“Parents often ask me; don’t you ever take a sick day?” Mrs. Bea said, “I tell them no because I love what I do.” How fortunate the students of Luther Elementary are to have Mrs. Bea to greet them every day.
“Every kid is one caring adult away from being a success story.”
Josh Shipp
Educator Spotlight: Paige Milgate

Educator Spotlight: Paige Milgate

Educator Spotlight
“We will know that Inclusive Education has really become embedded in our culture when the term becomes obsolete”
Michael F. Giangreco
Paige Milgate is a strong advocate for her students and their families. As teacher for the NC Classroom at Yuba City High School, Paige teaches students with a variety of disabilities. She embraces the students within her classroom and works with them holistically. Paige has had great success with the students under her care, both behaviorally and academically; she looks to the root of what is causing the student not to succeed and addresses that. She also credits establishing a relationship with each student and their family as key to student success.
 From the time she was in the fifth grade, Paige knew that she wanted to be a teacher. When she was at the University of the Pacific, on a basketball scholarship and completing her education, her first internship was at juvenile hall educating boys behind bars. She then secured her first full time teaching position at River Oak Center for Children which is a level 14 residential treatment center for emotionally disturbed teenagers. She served there for 10 years. She moved to Highlands High School where she served as the RSP teacher for 10 years. During her tenure there, she served as a class advisor and coach as well. She served at Plumas Lake Elementary for 5 years before coming to SCSOS. She has been with us for the past 5 years.
Paige has an all or nothing approach to teaching. She works closely with the parents of her students. She feels that one of the best ways to support her students is to ensure that she is communicating with and supporting the parents. She stated that she is very fortunate to have two amazing para-educators, Sue Patterson and Christina Ladd.  In her classroom, she provides an environment that’s safe, secure and respectful. She models the behavior that she wants to see from her students. “We are a family,” Paige said.
One of Paige’s greatest success stories is that of Anthony, who came to her for his freshman year. She advocated for him to be mainstreamed and he graduated at the top of his class as one of the YCHS Salutatorians in June, 2019. To read the article, click on the link:
“My purpose is to help kids and be there,” Paige said. “My favorite compliment I receive from parents is, ‘If it wasn’t for you, my child wouldn’t be where he/she is today.’”
Paige Milgate has found her niche and our students are benefitting from her all or nothing approach to education. SCSOS is fortunate to have an educator with her compassion and dedication to our NC students.
Educator Spotlight: Dulia Aguilar

Educator Spotlight: Dulia Aguilar

Dulia Aguilar
“In my world there are no bad kids, just impressionable, conflicted young people wrestling with emotions and impulses, trying to communicate their feelings and needs the only way they know how.” Janet Lansbury
Dulia Aguilar is in her fifth year of serving SCSOS students as a Behavior Assistant. She services many schools: Yuba City High School, Sutter Union High School, Barry Elementary, Luther Elementary, Tierra Buena Elementary, Browns Elementary, Nuestro Elementary, Pleasant Grove Elementary and Franklin Elementary.
 So what does a Behavior Assistant do?
 Behavior Assistants work closely with the Behaviorist to develop and implement a behavior intervention/support plan for a student. These plans are designed to assist the classroom staff when dealing with difficult student behaviors. The plans try to address what the student is trying to communicate with the difficult behavior and how to address it in a positive manner. The behavior assistant is a support to the classroom staff by helping to implement the behavior plan. The student with a behavior intervention/support plan has support from the behavior assistant based on the number of minutes recorded in his or her IEP. Along with providing support for the behavior plan, Dulia also supports our Spanish-speaking families by translating for parent and IEP meetings.
Dulia was born and raised in the bay area. She and her husband moved here many years ago due to the high cost of housing in San Francisco. Dulia has worked in the mental health field before joining SCSOS as a Behavior Assistant. She served for many years as a Drug and Alcohol Prevention Specialist and as a Mental Health Rehabilitation Specialist for Victor Community Services.
Dulia enjoys spending time with her family. Her two children are involved in sports, acting and cheerleading. Dulia loves going to Broadway shows and movies with her family. She often returns to the bay area to visit family and friends.
SCSOS Educator Spotlight: Julie Aguirre

SCSOS Educator Spotlight: Julie Aguirre

Julie Aguirre revised
Teacher Julie Aguirre often gets to see herself through her students’ eyes. Former students will return to visit her classroom and say things like, “You were right Miss Julie. It’s important to have a good work ethic.” This makes her proud because her students are productive citizens. Julie has been a special education teacher for severely disabled young adults for the past 31 years.
Julie began her teaching journey by earning her Bachelor’s degree in Speech Pathology. She was enrolled in the master’s program for Speech Pathology, beginning her clinicals, when she decided that she didn’t want to spend her life in this field. She saw an ad in the paper for a para professional for Virginia School in Wheatland; she was hired as a substitute para. The following school year, she was hired full time as a para for an MD class. She went back to school and completed both her multiple subject and special education credentials. In 1988, she began her teaching career at the high school SD classroom at Butte Vista. She was part of a team of three teachers who team taught. Butte Vista School then became a K-5 school and the high school age students were moved to a classroom on the Yuba City High School campus where Julie taught for 3 years. SCSOS decided in 1986 to develop a second Adult Transition Program for students who were not ready to access the Yuba College Transition Program. Julie accepted the challenge of developing this new program which was originally in a rental house across the street from YCHS on Park Avenue, hence the name Park Place. After two years at Park Place, Julie transferred to the Yuba College Adult Transition Program where she taught from 1998-2015.
In 2015, Julie returned to teach the SD class at Yuba City High School. “No day is the same. You learn to expect the unexpected,” Julie says. “My love for my students and seeing the changes in them has kept me going.”
Julie plans to retire at the end of the school year and spending more time with her mom and granddaughter is her highest priority. She also loves arts and crafts and plans to continue making crafts and selling them at craft fairs. She plans to travel, with a trip planned to Europe in August/September.
Julie has spent over three decades making a difference in the lives of severely disabled students. She will be greatly missed, but she plans to visit the classroom in order to keep up with her students.
“There is no greater reward than working from your heart and making a difference in the world” Carlos Santana
SCSOS Spotlight: Lisa and Alex Jimenez

SCSOS Spotlight: Lisa and Alex Jimenez

Lisa and Alex


“To measure the success of our societies, we should examine how well those with different abilities, including persons with autism, are integrated as full and valued members” –Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon

Lisa Jimenez, an SCSOS Para educator for 15 years, says she has seen a lot of changes within special education during her tenure, particularly in the area of autism. When her son, Alex, was diagnosed with autism at the age of 3, there was very little known about it. Back then, some in the field believed that autistic children didn’t like to go outside, so recess was not an option for them during the school day. Alex, who is now 24, began his education with SCSOS in our preschool program. He continued his education through elementary, middle and high school; earning his high school diploma from Yuba City High School. Alex reported that he had two favorite teachers: LaVonne Jensen and Ernie Wilder. Currently, he works five days a week at Pride Industries and still receives respite support through Alta Regional once or twice per week.


Alex describes himself as hugely funny, shy and creative. He enjoys drawing, putting legos together and playing video games with his family. He was proud to say that he recently beat his dad at Pac Man.


Lisa is proud of the progress her son Alex has made. She is a mother of five boys and describes herself as dependable and hard working. She enjoys her work in the ASD Classroom #8 at Riverbend School. She especially enjoys watching the students grow and develop; she works diligently with each individual child to ensure that he or she receives what they need. Lisa reports that her colleagues are a great group of people. “Everyone is looking out for what is in the best interest of the student. If something isn’t working, then we look for other ways to help the student.”


Alex has grown into an independent, successful adult. Lisa credits early intervention and a strong educational system as key. “Alex’s success is what we strive to achieve with all of our ASD students,” Lisa said.

Roberta Givens

Roberta Givens

Roberta Givens


“When teaching children with autism we must be quick to adapt, follow our instinct and go off plan Adele Devine


Passion, Persistence and Positivity: Words that describe Para-educator Roberta Givens. Roberta has served as a para-educator with SCSOS since 2015. She began her tenure at Yuba City High School in room 211 where she fell in love with the students. As of October 2019, she began serving ASD students at Riverbend in room 21. She reports that she didn’t know what to expect when she made the transition, but she loves her work with these students.


Roberta has lived in Olivehurst from the age of 6 except for a two-year stint at age 19 in Eureka where she served in the California Conservation Corp. She then moved back to Olivehurst to help her mother care for her niece. She was attending Yuba College when she found out she was pregnant with her son. After giving birth, she secured her Medical Assistant Certification through Cambridge and was employed at Sutter North OB. She began her Medical Assistant Instructor Training and withdrew when her son was diagnosed with autism. It was then that her new journey began; she provided early intervention for her son: speech, in-home ABA, and pre-school.  In 2010, she began serving as an In-Home ABA Provider. After a few years in this capacity, she decided that she wanted more time with the students that she served in this role.


Roberta began her tenure with SCSOS as a substitute para-educator in 2015 at Yuba City High School in room 211. “I fell in love with the students,” Roberta said. She worked in room 211 until October 2019 when she made the transition to the ASD classroom at Riverbend for grades 1-5. Her personal experience with autism gives her a broader perspective when working with our ASD students. She makes it her daily goal to discover what works for each individual child.


Roberta’s son is now 13 years old and thriving at school. Roberta credits advocating for her son and early intervention as key. She and her son enjoy participating in outdoor activities, Boy Scouts and road trips. Their most recent road trip was to Los Angeles and San Diego for seven days during winter break.


Passion, Persistence and Positivity: SCSOS is fortunate to have Roberta Givens as part of our educational team. Her years of personal and professional experience with autism make her an invaluable asset for our ASD students. “The work we do couldn’t happen without all the moving parts. What we do makes a difference for our students and families,” Roberta said.