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What will be your duties with in your new position?

The position is going to assist with curriculum and instructional needs within the building. I will facilitate transitions with the merger of Harris Elementary School and Hope Academy. In addition, I will complete certified and non-certified staff member evaluations, provide behavioral and academic interventions and guidance. I may research curriculum, instruction and educational delivery as well as develop and facilitate professional learning for staff. Not to mention other duties as assigned.

Where did you go to college and what is your education experience?

Upon high school graduation, I attended Richland Community College for my associate degree in applied arts. Next, I went to Eastern Illinois University for a bachelor's degree in special education with the emphasis in learning disabilities and social emotional disabilities. Shortly after, I earned a master's degree from Eastern Illinois University in education administration. In addition, I have plus 32 hours in behavioral coursework and coursework in superintendency.

I am finishing up my 20th year in education this school year. I have worked as a special education teacher for students with learning disabilities and students with social emotional disabilities for 13 years in grades kindergarten through 12. The remaining seven years have been spent as a special education administrator for the Macon-Piatt Special Education District. I have also worked as a principal consultant for the Illinois State Board of Education. I have had a wide span of exposure and experience in public education over the years.  

What got you interested in working at schools? 

During my senior year of high school, I enrolled in a course called "Peer Facilitating." I was paired up with a student in the special education classroom to provide assistance with reading. I absolutely fell in love with teaching and most of all, students with disabilities. 

What are some things you have learned, or the most important thing you have learned, while working with children?

Every day is a new day! Patience, compassion, consistency mixed with a bit of organization, expectations and respect make for some school essentials.     

What are your goals while working for the Decatur School District?

​I would like to build my knowledge, share it with others and make positive impacts for students to be successful in and out of school. It wold be an honor to be a small part of a big team to assist with achieving some, if not all, of the district strategic goals.

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Contact Kennedy Nolen at (217) 421-6985. Follow her on Twitter: @KNolenWrites

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