On the first day of classes, Wilson® Dyslexia Therapist (W.D.T.) Jacquelyn Gerber got a sweet surprise when local television personalities dropped by her school. The WKYC-TV crew was there to present an award for her excellence in teaching during a morning broadcast.
Jacquelyn, an intervention specialist at Gurney Elementary School in Chagrin Falls, OH, received WKYC-TV’s 3News Education Station All-Star Teacher award. Recipients of this honor go above and beyond to make a significant difference in the lives of children in their schools. The principal, Rachel Jones, recommended Jacquelyn for her compassion, advocacy for her students, and enthusiastic support of her colleagues.
Jacquelyn completed her master’s degree in early childhood education while teaching in Washington D.C. She relocated to Ohio where she obtained her special education license and began working with children with disabilities. She has worked in Chagrin Falls schools for 19 years. Always striving to implement the best classroom tools and techniques, Jacquelyn is proactive with professional learning. When offered the opportunity to earn her Wilson Reading System® (WRS) Level I Certification, she eagerly agreed. She has been implementing the program in her classroom with success for five years.
“I call WRS cross-categorical,” Jacquelyn said. “I have some students with dyslexia, but the majority of my students are on the autism spectrum or have ADHD [attention deficit hyperactivity disorder]. Wilson is a really good program to use with them because it’s so structured and routine.”
While no two days are the same and Jacquelyn encounters plenty of challenges, she relishes her students’ victories. Her biggest motivators are her students and their successes. She explained, “Ultimately, my goal is to have them be independent and use the strategies and techniques I’ve taught them so they can be in the classroom with their peers.”
“My proudest moments are always when a parent tells me that a student might be coming off of their IEP [Individualized Education Program],” Jacquelyn said. “I just had a parent say that the other day. She stopped me in the hallway to tell me the good news. Those are really exciting moments—when my students are independent or need less support. We know we were able to teach them independence and gave them enough of a basis that they can do things on their own in reading and math.”
Congratulations, Jacquelyn! We wish you and your students continued success!