Educational consulting and advocacy for children with special needs

I have been a classroom teacher, a principal, a remedial reading specialist, and a gifted education specialist, as well as currently a counselor and coach.  I am a certified teacher in both regular and Special Education, with a specialty in Learning Disabilities and the Teaching of Reading. I hold an initial Master’s degree in Education, and a more recent Master’s in Counseling Psychology.   I have  35 years of experience working in various school settings, both public and private, and have always been an advocate for children who, for whatever reason, don’t seem to fit into the traditional school setting.

I can  assist you in advocating for your child  in the school setting.  I can observe your child in the classroom, make recommendations to both you and the teacher, and help you navigate the ins and outs if the school system, if needed.  I know how to ask the right questions to get the answers you seek. I can help you advocate for your child at school conferences, meetings for IEP’s or 504 Plans, or assist with any other challenging interactions you may have with the school. I can also help you find resources outside of the school setting.

Finally, if you so choose, I can facilitate an educational team of professionals, all working in concert in the best interests of your child.

Specialty areas:

  • Intellectual giftedness and the special needs that accompany it
  • Attention Deficit (ADD, ADHD)
  • Asperger’s Disorder
  • Emotional and psychological difficulties
  • School avoidance
  • Learning disabilities
  • Dual diagnoses

Intellectually Gifted Students

I have been a specialist in Gifted Education for 24 years, working both in public and independent school settings. I believe that very bright children are definitely “Children First; Gifted Second.” However, I also know that gifted children have unique needs that require fundamentally different approaches to their education, in order to meet their potential. Finally, I know from experience that while some gifted kids can succeed in virtually any school setting, this is not the case for all.

Very bright students can be at risk if they do not have their needs met in school. Many encounter the challenges of asynchronous development, which often means that their social, emotional or physical development is nowhere near as advanced as their intellectual development. This can lead to unreasonable expectations and frustration which affects self esteem. Intellectually gifted children have special emotional and social needs that are often misunderstood or unexpected. Some gifted children are are even mis-diagnosed, because their special characteristics cross over with other diagnoses.

I can be hired to consult or speak with either parents or schools to help solve issues faced by gifted children, their teachers, or their parents. I can also be hired to help design curriculum especially for the highly capable students in your school and train teachers to implement it.

I am also delighted to consult with local parents regarding the most appropriate educational settings for their academically gifted children.

Independent School Leadership

As the founder and long term Head of an independent school, I have the right experience and perspective to offer my expertise to other developing independent schools. I know the unique issues faced by young schools and what is needed to gain stability. Consider how your school could benefit from a consultant who specializes in smaller, younger schools.

I also know both the long-term concerns as well as the day–to-day stressors experienced by the Head of School, especially one with a lean administrative team. (What I would have given for a mentor/coach when I was growing my school!)

Most independent school consultants and coaches charge more than smaller, younger schools feel that they can afford. Call or email me today explaining what you need, and we can discuss a reasonable price.

Services I am prepared to provide include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Individual coaching of the Head of School or the Board chair (see Leadership Coaching)
  • Strategic Planning
  • Assistance bringing the school to the next level of NWAIS membership
  • Board facilitation and training
  • Curriculum planning and alignment
  • Staff development and evaluation
  • Planning for a leadership transition
  • Growing a young school, strategically
  • Managing change
  • Serving as an Interim Head of School

Consider an investment in both your school and yourself!

Non Profit Consulting

I am in the unique position of having founded and developed a non-profit organization from the ground up.  I have also served on several other non-profit boards and participated in a great deal of training regarding non-profit Board and organizational development.

I am available for non-profit organizational consulting.  This could include, but not be limited to Board development, Strategic Planning, Board evaluations, Committee development, and any other consulting to meet the needs of your growing organization.  Non-profit organizations just like human beings,  move through developmental stages, and I know how to bring your non-profit to the next level.

Contact me about your organization’s unique needs and challenges. We’ll plan something together to fit your needs.

Stress Management and Resilience

I am very interested in Resilience and what makes us best able to “ride the waves” of life’s inevitable challenges and changes. I have also become increasingly interested in the serious impact stress has on our hectic lives, and on learning and teaching stress management skills, for individuals and  in the workplace.  I believe that recent brain research is informing how we can learn to counteract stress and tendencies toward depression and anxiety. I offer speaking engagements on “Stress Management and Cultivating Resilience.”