Caitlyn Adams, Paraprofessional One to One
Caitlyn attended Reading Area Community College after high school then transferred to Temple University where she earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology. She volunteered at a charter school during her time at Temple and so enjoyed helping children improve their reading skills that she was drawn to education as a career. Since then she has worked with children and adults of various abilities in one on one and group settings.
Caitlyn enjoys cooking, swimming, hiking and spending time with family and friends. She also has seven nieces and nephews who keep her young and busy! Contact Caitlyn Adams at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Liz Donham, Paraprofessional
Liz graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Rutgers University with a degree in English and political science. She worked in the financial services industry for 25 years as a Human Resources and Learning & Development professional. She specialized in developing curricula and teaching adults everything from basic skills to technology to effective leadership strategies. Her experience educating and leading adults has translated very well to educating children.
Liz’s sons attended a very small public school that had one class per grade and a strong emphasis on an integrated curriculum. She believes their early experience helped mold them into lifelong learners and contributed to their success in college today. Seven Generations’ mission, vision and values are consistent with that experience, so she is happy to be working with professionals who continue to offer young people an educational and social experience that will serve them well as adults.
A Pennsylvania resident since 1991, Liz lives in the woods of Upper Bucks County with her husband Jeff, three cats, and sons, Evan (Temple University) and Jason (University of Pittsburgh), who visit over break and during the summer. When the family is together, they love to be outside. Their most recent adventure was an 85-mile canoe trek on the Allagash Wilderness Waterway in Northern Maine. Liz’s indoor pursuits include cooking, needlework, reading and movies . . . and there’s always some kind of home project going on at their house! Contact Liz Donham email@example.com.
Shaniya Forester (Miss Niyah), Paraprofessional One to One
Shaniya graduated from Plainfield High School and Union County Vo-Tech, New Jersey, with a certificate in child development. She has always loved to work and has experience as an administrative assistant, over ten years in child care, and working with people with developmental disabilities. While pursuing a bachelor’s degree in psychology at William Paterson University, she also worked as a teacher’s assistant, substitute teacher and home health aid.
She came to Pennsylvania in 2011 when she was expecting her first child. Later, she went back to school to continue her work in early childhood education. She loves nurturing and teaching children, and educates by making learning fun and offering endless encouragement. Working with children with developmental disabilities (and having their best interests at heart) is a reward in itself. The smiles on the students’ faces are priceless to her.
In her spare time, Shaniya loves to teach and have fun with her two sons and their sister. She puts her creativity to good use drawing, painting, sketching portraits, writing poetry, singing, cooking, making people laugh, designing, styling hair, daydreaming, and finding fun in challenging and spontaneous activities! Contact Shaniya Forester at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Danielle McConaghy, Learning Support Teacher (Grades K-1)
Danielle graduated from Gwynedd-Mercy College in 2009 with a BS in elementary and special education. She worked for two years as an instructional assistant in a learning support classroom and as an Extended School Year teacher, then joined our staff in fall 2011.
She lives in her hometown of Sellersville, where she enjoys reading, taking pictures and swimming, as well as spending time with friends and family. She is also a member of a choir and has had the privilege of traveling with them to perform in places like Ireland and Alaska. Contact Danielle McConaghy email@example.com.
What is it like to teach at Seven Generations?
Teaching at Seven Generations has been a great experience so far. I feel extremely lucky to be working in a school with such a great sense of community. It’s evident that the needs of the students come first.
Dedra Parsons, Paraprofessional One to One
Dedra has worked at Wise Beginning Daycare Center, as a Licensed Beautician, as a Special Education Paraprofessional at Easton Academy, and as a sixth grade Special Education Assistant.
She was drawn to education by a desire to help, to give back and to be a positive role model for children. In her free time, she loves to shop, spend time with her family, do arts and crafts, and make others feel beautiful through her work as a beautician. Contact Dedra Parsons firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kelly Paxton, Learning Support Teacher
Originally from Charlottesville, Virginia, I have lived in and around the Lehigh Valley since 2012. I currently live in Hellertown, Pa and love it’s small town feel.
In May 2016 I graduated with a M. Ed in Special Education from Lehigh University. While pursuing my Masters, I simultaneously worked at Centennial School of Lehigh University as a Teacher’s Associate in the Middle School Program. Centennial School serves children and youth with educational disabilities, including emotional disturbance and autism. During my time there, I taught diverse groups of students with ADHD, autism, learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, speech impairments, and noncompliant behavior. After graduation from Lehigh University, I worked for a year as a Special Education teacher at Upper Perkiomen Middle School. These teaching positions provided me with extensive experience in special education, curriculum development, behavior management, cooperative teaching, and technology integration. While my short time at Upper Perkiomen Middle School served to strengthen my ability to meet the needs of all students, whether in a general education or special education setting, I desired to work within an educational setting that was more able to design creative instruction to meet the needs of diverse students. The field of Special Education continues to be my passion. Working within a community of students with such diverse and challenging needs has made me confident in my ability to meet the individual instructional and emotional needs of every exceptional child. I have had the opportunity to experience the immense impact creative differentiation can have on the emotional and academic evolution of exceptional children. Additionally, I have directly experienced the passion, empathy, dedication and selflessness required to reach each and every child.
Seven Gen embodies everything that supports students as they reach their full potential. The teachers create a family environment that supports and nurtures children as they develop their own passions and interests. The curriculum at Seven Generation allows students to work in a project-based, hands-on environment that inspires students to drive their own education.
Sonya Salim, Paraprofessional One to One
Sonya graduated with a bachelor’s degree in science from Kutztown University and worked as a Therapuetic Staff Support person for ten years. She was also a supervisor of a day program for adults with disabilites for three years before coming to Seven Generations. She was introduced to the school through a temp service and came to appreciate the philosophy of teaching and to enjoy the welcoming atmosphere.
When she is not helping our students, she loves to spend time with her own children. She is passionate about art, particularly painting and ceramics, and also enjoys gardening and outdoor activites. Contact Sonya Salim email@example.com.
Beverly Schantz-Ayers, Paraprofessional
Beverly joined Seven Generations after spending 7 years in the public schools in both the Lifeskills and MDS classrooms. A graduate of Emmaus High School & Lehigh County Vo-Tech, Beverly is also a Licensed Cosmetologist and has a Para-educator Certificate of Competency. Born in Allentown and currently resides n Pennsburg.
What drew Beverly to Seven Gen? The desire to be part of a team that is dedicated to contributing to the educational needs of children. Embracing the children’s diverse personalities and assisting in achieving their highest potential of personal growth.
When not at Seven Gen, Beverly enjoys spending time with her husband on Ocracoke Island, N.C., Fishing, gardening, walks, outdoor activities, cooking, and her Siamese cats. Beverly also loves being a Grandmother!
Andrea Tone, Learning Support Teacher, (Grades 2-3)
Andrea BS.E.D. in Special Education and Elementary Education, Concentration in Mentally and Physically Handicapped and a Minor in Music from Kutztown University. She is currently attending Gannon University online for a Master’s of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction.
Upon graduating from Kutztown University, she was a job coach for a year, taught pre-school for 3 years, and most recently an Autistic Support teaching position.
When she is not teaching, or attending school herself, she loves going to and watching football games (Go Texans!). She is also an avid Drum Corps International fan, and attends competitions throughout the summer. When she is not watching football or marching band, she loves trying new restaurants and traveling all over the country with her husband.
What is it like to teach at Seven Generations?
I love that Seven Gen incorporates the environment and other hands-on activities in to their curriculum. It connects to every child and ensures that they receive a wonderful, supportive education.
Kerianne Veltri, Learning Support Teacher (Grades 4-5)
Kerianne Veltri earned an associate’s degree in early childhood education from Northampton Community College, and a bachelor’s degree in special education and early childhood education from Bloomsburg University in 2013. She graduated in December 2015 with her Master of Education in reading and her Reading Specialist Certification from Kutztown University.
Kerianne was a LTS Learning Support Teacher for fifth grade at Tamaqua Elementary for the second half of the 2013-2014 school year and also worked at Seven Generations. She was a One to One Paraprofessional at Seven Generations for the 2014-15 school year, transitioned to K-6 Reading and Math Teacher in 2015, and then to Middle School Learning Support Teacher. She lives in Upper Macungie with her wife and enjoys baking, running, and reading in her spare time. Most of her family lives locally, so she is also able to enjoy spending time with them. Contact Kerianne firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is it like to teach at Seven Generations?
My first position as a LTS paraprofessional gave me the opportunity to work with grades 1-5, and I was able to get to know a lot of the students and staff. I was grateful to continue as a One to One Paraprofessional and now as Learning Support Teacher. Everyone at the school has been so welcoming and helpful. It’s great to work at a school that truly values inclusion.
Photos: Olaf Starorypinski and Dan’s Camera