Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Meet Gina Miller


1. Please describe your job and responsibilities.
My job titles are Bridge Administrator for the Loma Vista site, WorkAbility I Coordinator and Program Specialist. The Bridge Program is a transition program for students with Developmental Disabilities. We serve students 18-22 years old and focus on having the students becoming independent members of our community. The students learn functional academics, which include budgeting, learning how to navigate the public transportation system as well as providing them pre-vocational skills training with the ultimate goal of getting them hired independently. My duties include evaluating 19 classified and certificated staff members, attending IEPs of the 44 students in the program, providing guidance to the staff in the daily operations, and communicating with families and outside agencies to ensure the student’s needs are being met. I also collaborate with the 3 Satellite Bridge classes at Clayton Valley High School and Concord High School in supporting their program development.

The WorkAbility I program is a State grant funded to serve 834 Special Education students beginning freshman year. I work with a wonderful staff that provides support to our students in so many ways. One of our main goals is to work with the high schools and Bridge Programs to provide pre-employment skills training and help through their transition process. These trainings include how to write a resume, interview for a job and fill out job applications. We are reaching out more to our community in hope of partnering with them to provide on site training and mentoring for our students. We just completed a DVD highlighting our program and will be going into the community to speak with organizations about it. As the Coordinator, my duties include supervising and evaluating 6 staff members, facilitating Steering Committee meetings with our community, attending IEPs regarding WorkAbility, attending Business and Training meetings to support the implementation of the State’s best practices regarding transition, and providing training to District staff on transition. I am also in charge of the end of the year report for state as well as the WorkAbility budget.

As a Program Specialist I am the link between the families and the school sites. My duties range from attending IEPs, assisting with Alternative Dispute cases, training special education staff, collaborating between sites and bringing in resources that staff and families need. My two sites are Pleasant Hill Elementary and Valley View Middle School. I am also on various District committees as well including Extended Education Services, the Self-Review team, writing the courses of study for our moderate/severe classes as well as being the lead on the District Site Liaison Team for YV Elementary

2. What inspired you to work in this profession?
I earned a bachelors degree in Child Development and always new I wanted to work in some capacity with children and their and families. While in college, I studied to become a Marriage Family Therapist. My junior year, I began an internship with the Barbara Milliff Center and fell in love with this population of students. From that point on, I knew I wanted to be part of making positive changes in their lives. I went on to receive my credential and Master’s in special education. I continued on to receive my Administrative credential because I wanted to take on additional responsibilities and tasks that would help me serve our students better.

3.What is your professional goal?
My professional goal is to continue to push myself to learn more about how to continue making our students successful at school and in the many transitions they will go through throughout their lives and into becoming adults. I feel our District has come so far in the 11 years I have been here (starting as a special education teacher). I am excited to be part of a student focused District which is always coming up with new ways and programs to support the students and all of their different abilities!
4. What do you like best about your job?
I love knowing that everyday is different and that new challenges will come up that need to be solved. I love coming to the Bridge program and having the students tell me about their accomplishments and how their day is going. I love working with members of our community showing the positive impact our students make on everyone’s lives.

5.If you could change anything about your job/services you provide, what would it be?
I wish I had more time in the day! I would love to have the opportunity to collaborate more with the community members and share all of the exciting things our students are doing and how they can have a positive impact in whatever they do!

You can reach Gina at: millerga@mdusd.k12.ca.us or 798-1299.
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