Teacher Development Success Stories
Rebecca Braun, ASP/EBICS Teacher Specialist
I was a stay at home mom for many years and once all the kids were school aged I was ready to go back to work. My neighbor was a SECEP employee and she had encouraged me to look into the program. I had my undergrad in general education, but did not have licensure or any training in special education. I always had an interest in the field of Special Education, so I decided to apply! I began with SECEP as a teacher’s assistant and worked my way into a teaching position. Once I began teaching, I utilized the teacher development program in order to become licensed as a special education teacher. From there, I continued on to complete my Masters in Special Education. After teaching for six years, I have moved into the Teacher Specialist position. The experience in the teacher development program was positive and I am grateful for having the opportunity!
Christopher Holbach, ASP/EBICS Teacher Specialist
My path to become a teacher progressed over many years of schooling. During this time, as I received referrals for trying to make class more interesting, becoming a teacher was not a consideration for me. I obtained my college degree, after 7 years, and took a job working for a wilderness camp for children with behavioral challenges. I got married, moved to Virginia, and was unemployed. SECEP offered me a job and supported me through the provisional licensure process, and now I have been with SECEP for 18 years. As a teacher specialist, I am teaching teachers how to improve the lives of our children using innovative solutions each day. Most of us are not born teachers. I didn't choose this job, it chose me.
"It is amazing how much you can accomplish when it doesn't matter who gets the credit." ---Anonymous
K. Nichole Watson, Reach Teacher
When I graduated from TCC in 2004, I never expected I would end up working in a classroom; especially since my past work experience included local grocery stores. However, fate had a different plan for me. My mother recommended SECEP, so I applied and began January 18, 2005. I began my tenure with SECEP as a non-contract teacher assistant at Lake Taylor Transitional Hospital. A few months later, I was offered a teacher assistant contract. I remained at Lake Taylor for 1 ½ years before moving to St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children. I was given opportunities to “step-up” and assist in an instructional role during teacher absences. I wrote lesson plans and provided instruction. Based on my performance in the classroom, I was encouraged by the administration to pursue becoming a professional educator. During the 2010-2011 school year, I began my Masters of Education program at Old Dominion University and accepted my first teaching position at Lake Taylor Hospital. I have been a teacher and positively impacting the lives of children ever since.
Dr. Mai Williams, SECEP Principal
I began my career after graduating from Old Dominion University with a state job as the Recruiter and Public Affairs Coordinator with the Commonwealth ChalleNGe Youth Academy sponsored by the National Guard. I recruited 16-18 year-old at-risk youths interested in obtaining their GEDs and changing their lives. After enrolling many students from SECEP and developing a desire to become a teacher, I interviewed and was hired as a SECEP special education teacher. As a provisionally licensed teacher I worked hard and collaborated with my administrators and colleagues. After six years of teaching and earning a Master’s degree in special education, I was voted SECEP’s overall Re-Ed and TRAEP teacher of the year. I was promoted to an Education Specialist and earned an Education Specialist Degree (Ed. S.) while obtaining my administrative license. After six years, I was appointed to a SECEP principal position. Being a SECEP principal has allowed me to grow professionally and become an Instructional Leader. I have recently obtained my doctorate degree (Ed.D) and look forward to the endless opportunities for growth in my career which all started twenty years ago.
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