Kelly D, LBS1, M.Ed.

Where are you from? Born in Chicago (Riverdale neighborhood) and later moved to south-west suburbs when enrolling in kindergarten.
What did you study?Knox College: BA in Creative Writing and Psychology
Depaul University: M.Ed and dual certification in Elementary and Special Education
University of Cincinnati: Graduate Certificate in Behavior Analysis
Name the moment that inspired you to take your career path.I was working at a Montessori charter school in West Philadelphia in 2007 as an aide in a primary classroom. The one:one aide for a “challenging” student in the 2nd grade classroom had suddenly left her role, and I was asked to fill in. Our first day together he tried to jump a fence and refused to leave the playground after recess. I stayed with him, telling him, ” I wasn’t going anywhere, so if he needed extra time, that was ok.” He said “you aren’t going to yell at me?” Nope, I sure wasn’t. That kiddo and I had a great rest of the year. I still keep in touch with his family. When I moved back to Chicago, I immediately enrolled in a special education graduate program, and found a job as a teaching assistant in a self-contained classroom for student with autism, in Chicago Public Schools.
What do you specialize in? Professionally: I’ve been a special education teacher for nearly 14 years, mainly of students on the autism spectrum. Personally: I love triathlons! I train all year. I also coach marathon/half marathon programs for Chicago Endurance Sports.
Coffee or Tea?Both, and lots.
Favorite therapeutic swing?Rainbow Swing!
What you do consider your greatest accomplishment? Finishing graduate school, twice.
Books or Movies?This changes consistently as I read/watch more. All time favorites: When Harry Met Sally and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer.
Where would you go on your dream vacation?Cinque Terre, Italy. Being able to stay there for at least a few weeks, to hike to each of the towns.
What is your favorite children’s book? Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
What skill are you most proud of? Balancing life while still checking in with myself, ensuring that I’m always working on growing personally and challenging myself each day.
Winter or Summer?S-U-M-M-E-R
Board Certified Behavior Analyst

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