Friday, October 11, 2013

Get to Know MDUSD's New Program Specialist Shellie Higuera

As the new year starts we welcomed a few new staff to the special education department. We will be providing information on our new staff and what brought them to their new position in MDUSD. Below is an interview with Shellie Higuera, a Program Specialist for MDUSD that started this school year but has been with our District prior to her new position. Please describe your job and duties? My Program Specialist job responsibilities include servicing all the Non-Public Schools and County Schools within the Mt. Diablo Unified School District boundaries. I collaborate and coordinate with these schools to ensure that Special Education students are receiving educational opportunities tailored to meet their individual needs. We provide these educational opportunities in a least restrictive environment which advances educational benefit and growth, as well as, providing equity and access to curriculum. I attend IEP meetings and represent Mt. Diablo Unified School District as the Administrative designee. What inspired you to work in this profession? Coming from a blue-collar working class family, being the first person to graduate from college in my family, and being of Hispanic descent, education has always been valuable and important to me. Education has made a significant difference in my life, and it gives me great pleasure to give back to the community by helping students attain academic success. I am sensitive to the obstacles and barriers in overcoming challenges within the educational system and feel inspired to help others navigate through the system successfully. What is your professional goal? I have achieved two Masters degrees. My first Masters is in Behavioral Sciences, Bilingual Cross Cultural Education, Spanish. My second Masters degree is in Counseling, School Psychology. I do have thoughts of eventually earning a Doctorate Degree. What do you like best about your job? I love seeing students grow and develop their self-confidence in academics, social-emotional, and behavioral functioning. It is rewarding and fulfilling to me to see students feel good about themselves and their accomplishments. I also enjoy working with parents and helping them support their children. Being able to provide resources and guide student growth and achievement is a great feeling of success! If you could change anything about your job/services you provide, what would it be? There is nothing I would like to change about my job. I am very satisfied with my role. Contact her at: Shellie Higuera M.A. & M.S. higueras@mdusd.org 925-682-8000 ext. 4294 925-674-0667
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