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Fall Fab Five

Fall 2019 Newsletter -> Spotlight

SPG is proud to shine the spotlight on our Fall “Fab Five”!

EMILY DEROOS

I am a school-based SLP in my 5th year in Sacramento City Unified, currently with preschool, elementary, and home hospital students on my caseload. This is my 9th year with SPG, and as an SLP. I’ve worked in a handful of districts in the Bay Area, in the Berkeley clinic, and doing home visits with Regional Center early intervention families in Oakland.

 

What motivates you to wake up and go to work each day?

I strive to make school a place where my students are connected to at least one adult who understands them (figuratively, but often literally too!), and where that connection helps them mature as they learn how to do hard things, explore their individual interests, gifts and limitations, regulate their emotions, and make themselves more understandable so they can connect to others and contribute to the community in meaningful ways. What good are back sounds and complex sentences if they don’t facilitate human connection?

 

What is a fun fact about you?

Pictured with me is one of my four chickens, Henny (short for Hennifer, obviously). Her flockmates are Meghen, Laurhen, and Kristhen. I have a lot of fun thinking up names for future generations of chickens. When the 80s Ladies have retired, I’m considering adding Sushen B. Antheny, Harriet Tubmhen, Ruth Bader Gihensberg, and Elizabeth Warrhen to the flock.

 

A tip to share with your SPG colleagues:

A reminder that I think I need for myself on a daily basis, and that I would share with my colleagues is that there is no substitute for being a stellar human. Evidenced-based practice, taking good data, staying organized, parent education, collaboration, and all the things that make us good clinicians are so important, but there is really no substitute for becoming the kind of person that can forge relationships that graciously withstand conflict, professional disagreements, tantrums, and sometimes just downright exhaustion. Of course, this is the hardest, and the most lifelong task, but the one that facilitates and supports our ability to do all the others.

 

Charlie Anne Urcia

I am an SLPA assigned to San Francisco Unified School District. Currently, I am stationed at the Assistive Technology Innovation Center (ATIC). My primary responsibility is to provide related service providers the support they need when it comes to AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication)–whether it be high tech, low tech, or trainings.

 

What motivates you to wake up and go to work each day?

What gets me going is knowing that I am building a career that is aligned with skills and my passion to serve. Every day, I wake up grateful that I have a job that is holistically rewarding.

 

What is a fun fact about you?

I spent much of my formative years in Saudi Arabia, from age 7 to 15. It is a fun fact, but it is a nuanced kind of fun that a lot of people have varying impressions about.

 

A tip to share with your SPG colleagues:

Invest in a really good reusable water bottle. It’s easy to forget to hydrate with the demands of our job, but having a water bottle close by always helps.

 

Valeria Gonzalez

I am an RBT providing classroom support for a Counseling Enriched Classroom (CEC) at Rosa Parks Elementary, in Berkeley.

 

What motivates you to wake up and go to work each day?

I work with the most ADORABLE, smart, creative, curious, interesting, and diverse group of children you could think of. My biggest reinforcement is turning an anxious, screaming child into a calm and happy child who can communicate their wants and needs. Knowing that I have the ability to teach a set of skills and see the progress day to day is the most motivating.

 

What is a fun fact about you?

A fun fact about me is that you will hardly ever see me upset. I tend to annoy my sisters with my positive attitude and the fact that I am ALWAYS smiling.

 

A tip to share with your SPG colleagues:

Always carry extra edible reinforcers and bubbles! Who doesn’t love food or bubbles?! Lastly, no two days will or have to be the same. If today was a challenging day, show up tomorrow smiling and giving it your best shot. It’s amazing to see what a simple smile can do for a student.

 

Diana Correa

I am a Bilingual Speech-Language Pathologist for Pittsburg Unified School District in their preschool department.

 

What motivates you to wake up and go to work each day?

The satisfaction of helping not only our beautiful children but also their families. When a preschool referral is made, this is often the first time parents are hearing that there might be something different about their child. It is a very scary and difficult time. Often very hard news is delivered and discussed, and I am grateful to be part of a team that helps inform families, and works together toward common goals. As SLPs, the impact we have is immeasurable. It is very rewarding to see a little one become confident in his/her own voice and flourish before our very own eyes.

 

What is a fun fact about you?

I am an only child and was raised to be super competitive in sports. I love to play all sorts of sports: volleyball, soccer, softball, tennis, etc. I just wish I had more spare time to actually practice them.

 

A tip to share with your SPG colleagues: This Super Duper handout has been a great resource to share with my families. It is available in English and  Spanish. It helps provide simple and specific examples/tips for parents to continue promoting language development using their daily life activities. Sometimes when a professional provides Speech/Language recommendations, parents may feel intimidated and overwhelmed, thinking they have to create very elaborate activities to promote their child’s language. This handout breaks it down for them, giving them suggestions on how to talk to their child, how to respond and expand on what he/she said, what to talk about, how to tell stories, and what kind of vocabulary to utilize.

 

Anthony Armerino

I am a Speech-Language Pathologist for high school, transition, and elementary students in El Cerrito and Richmond.

 

What motivates you to wake up and go to work each day?

I’m motivated to help students become better communicators and fully participate in their communities.

 

What is a fun fact about you?

I’m utterly fascinated by nature documentaries.

 

A tip to share with your SPG colleagues:

“We are rich only through what we give, and poor only through what we refuse.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson