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JUNE 15

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LVC Dream Team: Alumni Form a “Special” Bond at Lebanon Middle School

Lebanon Middle School special education teachers

Although unacquainted during their years at The Valley, the career paths of seven alumni have crossed ways at Lebanon Middle School (LMS), where they form the ultimate LVC dream team. The alumni—Emily Miller ’17, Caitlin Bach ’14, Alicia Moyer ’17, Nate Luckenbill ’14, Ryan Johnson '19, Kathryn Marinkov ‘14, and Nate Myers '14—work in the Special Education Department.

“The LVC family is vast and ever-growing,” said Luckenbill. “I am always astonished at how easy it is to make connections with fellow LVC alums no matter where I travel. Every alum I have met has been nothing short of kind, helpful, and supportive.”

Over the past year, the dream team found themselves bonding more than ever as teachers were forced into virtual learning nearly overnight in early March 2020. To help lessen the stress of online learning, the educators banded together to provide a sense of support and encouragement for each other. 

“I am blessed with such an amazing group of teachers at LMS,” reflected Miller. “Teaching is not easy, and it has only gotten harder over this past year. Having this strong staff network is critical and has vastly improved everyone’s success and mental health.”

Whether it be to get a second eye on their lesson plans or simply vent their worries, the teachers know the importance of having a school support system. 

“As educators in the trenches, it is critical that we support each other. We depend on each other to make our school function and our students happy,” said Luckenbill. 

With the help of their newfound sense of family, the teachers have navigated online learning and discovered new ways to make learning exciting and interesting for those learning virtually and in-person.

One of the most important skills the teachers recall workshopping together was how to remain active and supportive in their students’ lives. With the average class size in special education being around 10–12 students, the teachers emphasize connecting and forming relationships with their students and families. 

“I check in with my students daily to see how they are feeling mentally and emotionally,” said Bach. “This has allowed for me to become a better teacher for them during these unpredictable times.”

“I created a virtual classroom for students to explore all the necessary materials, including a sensory room to help my students calm down, have fun, and express themselves safely while at home,” said Miller.

No matter the challenges that may be ahead, these LMS teachers have shown that teamwork truly makes the dream work. 

 

-- Parker Gallagher, Marketing & Communications Student Assistant