Educator spotlight: Anthony Hearns
Educator Spotlight: Michael Sproul
Educator Spotlight: Mrs. Bea
Educator Spotlight: Paige Milgate
Educator Spotlight: Dulia Aguilar
SCSOS Educator Spotlight: Julie Aguirre
SCSOS Spotlight: Lisa and Alex Jimenez
“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.
“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.