Lisa Gunderson, one of BFA’s new Special Educator Case Managers, works closely with a dozen students to ensure their success for the school year. A case manager specializes in providing support and is responsible for coordinating further instruction and services to these students.
“I do weekly check-ins with [my students] and some one-on-one support. We do annual, so yearly, IEP meetings where we discuss the student’s strengths, their challenges, and their goals that we want to set for them. And these could be goals… [in] anything from academics to… personal development and kind of those transferable skills…to make mental, well rounded individuals,” She said.
Before Gunderson applied to BFA, she worked with the Essex Westford School District.
“I was there for about seven years,” Gunderson recalled.
New school environments take time getting used to for new teachers and students. According to Gunderson, there have been multiple inservices in this new school year, which has allowed her to understand the setting and the building itself. Gunderson claims it helped her relax knowing that she knew the building better before getting to know her students.
“We do things a little differently, and I was working with a different population of students. So, there’s a learning curve, but it’s going well.”
Gunderson decided to apply for a position at BFA because not only did Gunderson want to be closer to her work, she also believes it is important to be part of a community.
“I wanted to be closer to where I work, but, to like, really be part of the community, so by living here and working here, I feel like I get that experience,” Gunderson states.
As a student at Keene State College in southern New Hampshire, Gunderson studied secondary education and social sciences. Recently, as soon as last May, she earned her special education certification.
From Colchester, Vt., Gunderson grew up with many cousins around, since her mother had four siblings. Her father, on the other hand, did not have any siblings. Gunderson grew up in a house her parent’s bought in the 1980s.
“They just sold [the house],” Gunderson explains. “that was like the only home I knew.”
So far, Gunderson shows excitement for the English classes she gets to sit into, since she enjoys the classroom environment.