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Kristen O’Meara
SPED Director
Felicia Lang
Director of Bilingual/MTSS
  • Education and Career Background: Bachelor's Degree in History, University of Illinois at Chicago; Master's Degree in Education, De Paul University; LBS1 Endorsement, Lewis University. I have worked as a paraprofessional, general education teacher, Special Education teacher, and Case Manager. I have been in the field of education for over 15 years.

  • Approach to Learning and Teaching: I believe we are all lifelong, curious learners. I believe that dignity and respect are human entitlements. I believe we are all here to serve one another and help each other grow into our fullest potential.

  • Hobbies/Interests: Reading, music, art, gardening, animals, walking in the woods, interior design, and helping my daughters become the best people they can be.

  • Education and Career Background: I studied in New York, Nicaragua and India for K-12. I studied sociology and anthropology for my BA degree and I am currently obtaining my MA from Adler University. 

  • Approach to Learning and Teaching: I believe learning should be accessible, interactive, and engaging. I enjoy incorporating movement, visual arts and performance into academic content areas.

  • Hobbies/Interests: I love creating art, writing, and exploring nature and city space.

Mekea Williamson
SPED Teacher Substitute
  • Education and Career Background: Current student in MAT program for elementary school. Previously, early childcare teacher and paraprofessional.

  • Approach to Learning and Teaching: Laid back but energetic. I enjoy discussions and allowing for independent thinking.

  • Hobbies/Interests: I love theater and have been struggling not being able to see live performances since March. Comedies are the best! I have an obsession now with Asian romcoms. I change cultural TV often but this is been a season pleasure.

Aldrienna Joiner
SPED Teacher
Sarah Beckette
SPED Teacher
  • Education and Career Background: Elmhurst College Bachelor of Science Major Special Education Minor Theology American College of Education Masters in Educational Leadership and a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction Special Education Teacher for 17 years.

  • Approach to Learning and Teaching: I believe in instilling a passion for lifetime learning. I believe that every child can reach their learning potential, with the necessary support and opportunities, and a caring classroom.I believe in teaching students with dignity, and in providing a fun, studentcentered learning environment. I make sure that every child knows that is they are worthy, by listening to and caring for their needs. I work hard to create a classroom that celebrates achievement and progress. 

  • Hobbies/Interests: Singing, Dancing, Crafting, Spending time with family and friends 

  • Education and Career Background: MED in Early Childhood and Special Education

  • Approach to Learning and Teaching: My teaching philosophy is rooted in my desire to effectively instill in each child the love for learning, alongside confidence in their own abilities to succeed.  I believe that each child is a unique individual and as a teacher it is my job to create enriched, secure and stimulating, atmospheres for children to grow and mature in all aspects of their developmental growth.  I bring a lot of warmth and energy into my classrooms and as an educator it is my responsibility to help children meet their fullest potential, by providing environments that foster a safe space for exploration, taking risks and sharing of ideas.  I believe the role of the teacher is to act as a guide, developing curriculum that fosters the children's interests and allowing the children's natural curiosity to direct their learning.  

  • Hobbies/Interests: I love Reading, Music, Dancing, attending live Theatre. I love Coffee, ice cream and baked goods of all kinds.  I love holidays and belly laughing as often as possible.   

Courtney Simmons
SPED Teacher
Leah Jowers
Learning Specialist
  • Education and Career Background: I completed my Bachelor of Science in Business Management, at the University of Phoenix. I am currently studying for my Masters in Special Education, at Grand Canyon University. Upon completing my degree program in the Spring of 2021, I would like to become a special education teacher. I have worked at The Montessori School of Englewood for 3 years. Prior to coming to TMSOE I worked as a Case Manager the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice for 5 years. As a Case Manager I worked in several juvenile and adult correctional facilities throughout the state of Illinois. After working with youth for over 8 years, I can honestly say that it has truly been an amazing journey.  

  • Approach to Learning and Teaching: I believe that every child is different, so as an educator I must meet each child that I encounter where they are. 

  • Hobbies/Interests: I enjoy traveling, watching documentaries, and spending time with my family and friends. 

  • Education and Career Background: B.A. Political Science, M.A. Education - Behavior Intervention, M.A., Special Education, and am working on E.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis  10-½ Years a Paralegal Secretary - Legal Services, State Appellate Defenders, Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights 5 years - Politics - Aldermanic Secretary, Congressional Secretary, Congressional District Director 10 years - Administrative Assistant 15 years - ECE Teacher/Coaching/Special Educator/ECE Program Director/Special Services Director/Asst. Principal  

  • Approach to Learning and Teaching: As an educator, I believe that everyone can learn; and in order to teach a student, you must understand how each one of them learn best.  This is done through building a relationship of respect with each of them and understanding what they like and dislike, which is done through observation and talking with them and their parent(s)/guardian(s).  By observing the child, they actually teach me how to teach them.  It is also important to have the environment presented cleaned and organized in such a way that each child is able to function independently.   I believe that each child has their own learning modality or style, and as such should be taught accordingly.  I also believe that the education of a child is not solely my responsibility, but it is in collaboration with all stakeholders (child, parent(s), guardians, and colleagues, etc.).  When a child understands that everyone they respect and/or love is on the same page, they begin to clearly understand their expectations and the child is able to thrive.    Lastly, in order to support each child in reaching their full potential, I must know where they are emotionally and academically.  This is done through assessments, understanding how to interpret data and implementing interventions.  Interventions are not punitive, they are incorporating or teaching the necessary steps that are missing to support a child’s learning of a concept. 

  • Hobbies/Interests: Roller Skating, walking, nature, nature walks, cooking, baking, sewing, music, movies (foreign, action, and humorous), gardening, and learning.

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Terri Smith
Sharon Mangum-Richardson
  • Education and Career Background: Certified Paraprofessional , A.A.S. Early Childhood Education 

  • Approach to Learning and Teaching: My approach to learning is to nurture the whole child through teaching and educating.

  • Hobbies/Interests: Reading, educating, and naturalistic living.

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Lynetta Denson
  • Education and Career Background: Bachelors in Human Service, paraprofessional license, substitute teaching license

  • Approach to Learning and Teaching: No child should be left alone

  • Hobbies/Interests: Reading books and shopping

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Karen Rodriguez
Bilingual Support
  • Education and Career Background: Graduated from California State University, Fullerton with a Bachelors in Communicative Disorders and Minor in Child and Adolescents Studies 

  • Approach to Learning and Teaching: 

  • Hobbies/Interests: Soccer, Reading, Exploring new places and foods

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Lori Johnson
MTSS Support
Tamale Lee
MTSS Support
  • Education and Career Background: Associates of the Arts

  • Approach to Learning and Teaching: Visual, Auditory, & Hands on

  • Hobbies/Interests: Crocheting, Spending Time with Family & Friends

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