A Teacher Spotlight

A Teacher Spotlight
Posted on 09/26/2019
Mary Jane PaciniNREP gives recognition to a deserving teacher who loves being the foundation for a child’s education. Meet Mary Jane Pacini, an early childhood special education teacher at NREP. Mary Jane has been teaching at NREP for 28 years. She has a Masters Degree in Special Education and an endorsement in teaching children with severe and profound disabilities.

Mary Jane is a caring and dedicated professional who works with an array of students, some of whom have visual and multiple physical impairments, severe orthopedic disabilities (e.g., nonambulatory, limited use of hands/arms), and intellectual disabilities. Mary Jane has to be original and creative in her teaching each day.

She and Helen Lineberg, classroom paraprofessional, focus on setting up the learning environment to improve a child’s physical ability and core (walking, sitting, sitting up, standing and head control), as well as visual functioning. Students in the classroom are exposed to many tactile and sensory materials and activities. Cause and effect toys are adapted to meet the needs of students in order to create opportunities for children to learn to play and expand their knowledge.

Mary Jane says, “The real success comes from collaborating with specialty support professionals, such as vision, physical, occupational, and speech therapists, among others, who come together to improve the quality of education for the student and classroom. The best thing we can do for children is to give them every advantage possible.” Mary Jane is absolutely correct, it takes such a committed group of people with different skill sets and expertise complementary of one another to fill in the gaps for one another.

Student works on improving his visual abilities
Student works on improving visual abilities

Working in special education is a job that requires a lot of training, patience and dedication. The teacher needs to be creative in order to differentiate instruction that needs to be tailored to a child's distinctive learning abilities. At NREP, we have a strong desire to create an innovative and collaborative culture that provides a strong foundation for offering the best educational experience possible for the young people we serve. It can be one of the most rewarding jobs for the right type of person. Mary Jane Pacini is one of those types of people. We are proud to have Mary Jane on our NREP Team and want her to know that she’s an amazing teacher.

Mary Jane Pacini working with students in class
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