Special Education Day was first celebrated in 2005, 30 years after the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was signed into law by President Gerald Ford. IDEA ensures that students with a disability are provided with free, public education that is tailored to their individual needs. Today we recognize the work that our Special Education Managers do every day, and we thank our entire Special Education team for providing the students and families with the resources they need to succeed. Meet some of our Special Education Managers and learn more about why they love their job!
Ashley Dalton, Director of Special Education, shared the following with us, "Special Education Managers are visionary leaders making sure All Means All at each of our YES Prep campuses. They take incredible care of our students and families, making sure that our students get the support they need to participate in the rigorous education they deserve. Special Education Managers work with people across the YES Prep system, from transportation to families to classroom teachers, to coordinate student services. They coach and develop our incredible Special Education teams, and many serve students directly throughout the school day. I am so proud to work alongside each of our Special Education Managers, and I'm excited for you to get to know them!"
Alicia Riddle, YES Prep North Forest
Alicia Riddle, Special Education Manager at North Forest has been in education for 15 years, eight of those serving at North Forest. She shares with us, “My favorite part about being a Special Education Manager is getting the opportunity to work closely with our special learners, watching them grow into confident young adults who advocate for themselves and push themselves to do and be their best!”
Emily Adams, YES Prep White Oak
Emily Adams, Special Education Manager at White Oak has been in education for 10 years, three of those serving at YES. She shares with us, “part of being a SpEd manager is getting to work with an amazing team of passionate and dedicated special educators. The members of my team go so far above and beyond to support and nurture our special education students and I am so proud of the work they do! Working in Special Education means getting to help unlock potential that oftentimes kids don’t even know they have. They may have been undercut, undervalued, and held to low expectations their whole lives, but we know that with the right supports special education students can do amazing things. Seeing that happen and helping them achieve their goals is truly incredible and it’s a gift to be a part of that!”
Erin Edwards, YES Prep Northside
Erin Edwards, Special Education Manager at Northside has been in education for nine years, seven of those serving at YES. She shares with us, “My favorite part of being a SpEd Manager is coaching and supporting our amazing SpEd Teachers. They are the hardest working teammates, and they motivate me to come to school every day, prepared to do the best work I can for them and our students. I work to align our student interventions across grade levels and subjects, so all SpEd students have their learning needs met.”
Joannette Jenkins, YES Prep East End
Joannette Jenkins, Special Education Manager at East End has been in education for nine years, seven of those serving at YES. She shares with us, “My favorite part of being a SpEd Manager at East End is connecting with students and families and working with my fellow Special Educators. As a SpEd manager the work I do varies from developing teachers to communicating with parents to collaborating with the culture team. I may not be working directly with students daily but the work I am doing directly impacts students.”
Kimberly Walker, YES Prep North Central Secondary
Kimberly Walker, Special Education Manager at North Central Secondary has been in education for 16 years, three of those serving at YES. She shares with us, “The best part of being a Special Education Manager is the opportunity to be an advocate for our special pop students. I enjoy coaching special education teachers and providing them with strategies to provide accommodations and modifications for our students to meet their induvial needs. I get to work with some of the most passionate SpEd teachers and Compliance Specialist together; we collaborate and desegregate data to make sure our students' needs are met. We are providing them with instruction that meets their individual needs. I have enjoyed rebuilding our SpEd department's climate and culture at NC; it is only up from here. I am a proud NC trailblazer.”
Marcela Rodriguez, YES Prep West
Marcela Rodriguez, Special Education Manager at West has been at YES for 13 years. She shares with us, “My favorite part of being a SpEd Manager is working with the amazing, talented team at WEST who always goes above and beyond to support our students. As a SPED Manager, I have the opportunity to work and collaborate with various stakeholders to ensure students receive the best support they can get in order to help them become the individuals they strive to be.”
Special Education Program at YES Prep
Since 1998, YES Prep has committed to providing a high-quality, college-ready education to ALL students in the Houston area. For students that need additional support, our Special Education program includes Learning Labs at every campus, Y Step Programs across the system and our Adult Community Transition Program for our 18 plus graduates. Students graduating from YES Prep exceed the state average for graduation rates and matriculation to 2- and 4-year colleges and universities. Coming into the 2019-2020 school year, our college matriculation rate more than doubled the state average.
To learn more about our program, click here.