The HEAL Association

Presenters
Michelle Bond, BEd

Michelle Bond, BEd

Queensland Children's Hospital School

Throughout a teaching career of over 30 years in mainstream and hospital settings and more recently as the foundation Executive Principal of the Queensland Children’s Hospital School, Brisbane, Michelle Bond is passionate about “Making a Difference” in the educational journey for students. She supports students who have a range of chronic health and/or mental health conditions and is responsible for leading quality educational programs for students in hospital and health settings throughout Queensland. She works tirelessly with schools to support students’ transitions, continuity in their learning and inclusive practices in school settings. Michelle believes that every child can achieve and aspires to the school motto: “Inspire, Believe, Achieve”. Innovation and inclusive practices are her core priorities.

Michele Britt, BS in Special Ed

Michele Britt, BS in Special Ed

Phoenix Children's Hospital

Michele Britt is an outpatient teacher and school re-entry specialist in the Dialysis Unit at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. She graduated with a degree in Special Education from Millersville University in Pennsylvania. Prior to coming to Phoenix Children’s Hospital, she served as an educational liaison and hospital teacher in the Aflac Cancer Center at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta as well as Children’s Seashore House at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. In addition, she taught for nine years as a special educator in Jefferson County Schools in Colorado. Michele is an advocate for children with chronic health needs and continues to work with multiple disciplines to ensure a smooth transition between the hospital and school setting.

Sheila Brown, MPS, CCLS

Sheila Brown, MPS, CCLS

University of Texas M D Anderson Cancer Center

Sheila has been a certified child life specialist for over 30 years. She has worked with clients diagnosed with eating disorders, survivors of sexual abuse and family violence and has spent the majority of her career supporting pediatric/adolescent/young adult oncology patients with a specialization in bereavement support and end of life care. She is currently an outpatient child life specialist working with non neural solid tumor patients, is the lead for legacy project development, an active member of the supportive care council and serves as the chair for the sibling task force. Sheila has presented both locally and nationally on topics of resilience, end of life support for children and families and creating a collaborative team.

Bonnie Butler, MEd

Bonnie Butler, MEd

MD Anderson Children's Cancer Hospital

Bonnie Butler serves as the Senior Coordinator for the Pediatric Education and Creative Arts Program at the Children’s Cancer Hospital of MD Anderson. For the last six years, her career has been dedicated to actively serving the patients and families within Pediatrics. Her work has focused on ESL strategies and language building, academic and family program development, and college and career readiness. She received her Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from Lamar University and a Bachelor’s of Science in Education from the University of Houston’s Clear Lake.

Michele Capurso, MEd

Michele Capurso, MEd

University of Perugia, Italy

Bio unavailable

Maggie Davis

Maggie Davis

Elon University

Maggie Davis is a junior at Elon University in North Carolina, studying special and elementary education. She is a native Chicagoan, enjoying the months in sunny North Carolina for school. She is a part of the Teaching Fellowship at my University and is pursuing her undergraduate research in the transition from hospitals to schools for children with special healthcare needs. She hopes to work in the severe and profound disability field or hospital education field after graduation.

Karen DeMairo, MHSA

Karen DeMairo, MHSA

Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

Karen DeMairo, MHSA is the Vice President of Education, Support & Integration for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. As Vice President, she serves as the strategic leader for development, implementation, and communication of LLS’ access, education and support resources, including educational expert content for both patients and healthcare providers. She is responsible for identifying and facilitating opportunities, within Mission Education & Services to work cross-functionally across the organization with internal and external-facing staff members and to identify opportunities for improved donor (individual, foundation, and corporate partners) engagement with the support services and educational programs at LLS. Ms. DeMairo has been with the Society for 20 years, functioning at both the chapter and regional level prior to her present position. Ms. DeMairo is on the board of Stupid Cancer, a member of the Comprehensive Cancer Control National Partnership and a member of HEAL. She has a Master’s degree in health services administration and a background in early childhood education.

Katie Doering, PhD, MA, BEd, Special Education Specialist

Katie Doering, PhD, MA, BEd, Special Education Specialist

Ronald McDonald House Charities Toronto

Katie Doering started her career in education at Ronald McDonald House Charities Toronto by establishing an in-house private school for patients and siblings. She currently serves as the Principal of this school, working with her team to ensure a learning environment that facilitates the academic, social and emotional success of her Kindergarten to Grade 12 students. Katie’s passion to improve the educational outcomes and overall quality of life of children with medical needs led her to complete a Master’s degree and PhD in Education at the University of Toronto. Her research focuses on the opportunities and resources available to children with medical needs, and how these elements impact their lived experiences.

Gayle Domsch, EdD

Gayle Domsch, EdD

Children's Mercy Kansas City

Gayle Domsch has a total of over 45 years of experience as a professional educator, working in regular classrooms, special education, gifted education, and hospital based school. She has a master’s degree in learning disabilities and a doctorate in educational leadership. In the past, she has been extensively involved in professional development and teacher education programs, and now works with school age patients with chronic medical needs and their schools and districts to develop individual programs to complete their education when their credit options are limited due to attendance and hospitalizations.

Gina Dragomanovich, MA, CCLS

Gina Dragomanovich, MA, CCLS

SFUSD/UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital

Gina Dragomanovich, MA CCLS, Child Life Special Education Teacher III, is dually trained as a Child Life Specialist and a Special Education Teacher. She completed her Masters in Education with an emphasis in Child Life as well as a Special Education Credential at Mills College. Gina has been a special education teacher in the Marie Wattis School inside UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, San Francisco for the past 14 years. This is a perfect blend of her training and skills as a child life specialist and special education teacher. Since beginning her work at UCSF BCH she continues to be challenged and rewarded in her daily work. One of the many aspects of her job that she particularly enjoys is the constant change and diversity of the children and families she works with. This adaptability has served her well during the COVID-19 pandemic. The privileged to have a job that relieves some of the stress of hospitalized students and families is what drives her to be a highly committed hospital educator.

Mindy Elliott

Mindy Elliott

Veritas Collaborative

Mindy Elliott developed the academic programming for Veritas Collaborative, a specialty healthcare system for the treatment of eating disorders with locations in NC, GA and VA. She currently serves as the Director of Education and Quality Programming for Veritas and Vice President for HEAL. In 2017, discussions on the development of a new international journal began with the European organization, HOPE. Mindy represented AECMN, and later HEAL, in the formation of the journal, Continuity in Education (CiE), which expects to publish its inaugural online edition in early 2020. Mindy is an Associate Editor for the journal, CiE.

Courtney Emery, MEd, NBCT

Courtney Emery, MEd, NBCT

DanceBlue Kentucky Children’s Hospital Hematology Oncology Clinic

Courtney Emery is the School Intervention Specialist in the DanceBlue Kentucky Children’s Hospital Hematology Oncology Clinic. Courtney has developed The Providing Assistance with School (PAWS) Program which serves to minimize negative educational issues that arise due to a cancer diagnosis, the treatment regimen, and frequent school absences. Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and Special Education with a focus in Learning and Behavioral Disorders. Additionally, she earned a Masters of Education in Educational Leadership and is certified by The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

Miranda Field, MEd

Miranda Field, MEd

Regina Public Schools

Miranda Field is a student support teacher from Regina, Saskatchewan who co-facilitates a community of practice for Saskatchewan hospital school teachers and classroom teachers of students with medically complex needs. She is currently completing her PhD in Educational Psychology focusing on Indigenous mental heath.

Kris Frost, MEd

Kris Frost, MEd

M D Anderson Children's Cancer Hospital

Kris Frost is a school coordinator for the Pediatric Education and Creative Arts Program at M D Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital in Houston, Texas. She assists with school re-entry for patients with Neural and Non-Neural Solid Tumors, Melanoma, Endocrine Tumors and Neurofibromatosis. In her current position at the Children’s Cancer Hospital her goal is to ensure that all of her patients return to school with an educational plan that will allow them to be successful in their academic endeavors. She attends weekly physician meetings, and meets with physicians frequently so as to keep them updated on their patient’s successes or needs. Her knowledge of special education laws and 504 Accommodation Plans has enabled her to adequately determine what educational strategies will best benefit her patients.

David Gordon

David Gordon

Staten Island Academy

David Gordon, Ph.D. is the Director of the Patrick Academic Resource Center. Prior to becoming a member of PARC, Dr. Gordon was an Assistant Professor of Special Education in the Education Department at Wagner College for six years. David worked closely with pre-service educators to find a passion for educating students with disabilities. At a national level, David was the President of the Division of Physical, Health, and Multiple Disabilities, within the Council of Exceptional Children, and was a founder and inaugural President of the Association of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Educational Specialists. David has been involved internationally on disability issues. He moderated a session in 2016 for State Department’s Special Adviser for Disability Rights, Judy Heumann as part of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, a President Obama Young African Leaders Initiative. Dr. Gordon was a keynote presenter both in Botswana (2017) and Mozambique (2019) on disability inclusion issues.

Elaissa Hardy, PhD

Elaissa Hardy, PhD

Emory University

Dr. Hardy is an instructor in Dr. Wilbur Lam’s laboratory in the Department of Pediatrics at Emory University and works in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech. Her background is in Electrical Engineering and microelectronic fabrication. In addition to hematologic research, she has a passion for teaching undergraduate students and K-12 students through her in-depth involvement in BME HealthReach, an educational outreach program for chronically-ill patients where they are taught math and science through innovative hands-on activities using their own illness as the springboard for learning. She recently completed a certificate program in Child Life at the University of California Santa Barbara.

Kelly Ihejiawu, MA

Kelly Ihejiawu, MA

Children's Medical Center Dallas

Kelly Ihejiawu is the Director of Family Resource Library and School Services Program at Children’s Health, Children’s Medical Center Dallas. Kelly has worked in various roles at Children’s Health for the past 18 years. Prior to working at Children’s Medical Center, she worked as a special educator in Richardson ISD. Mrs. Ihejiawu is from Tucson, AZ where she started her career in special education in a childcare facility for children with disabilities. She has served in a variety of roles during her career all geared toward supporting adults and children with special needs. Kelly has worked in education for over 25 years. She has an undergraduate degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences from the University of Arizona, where she also received her MA in Special Education with an emphasis on inclusion. Kelly is currently apart of Leadership ISD Legislative Voices class of 2020 in Dallas, TX. Her work in Leadership ISD is focused on racial equity in the public schools. Kelly’s main interest is working with educators to train them on working with all students.

Mary Kay Irwin, EdD

Mary Kay Irwin, EdD

Nationwide Children’s Hospital

Dr. Mary Kay Irwin is the Director of School Health Services at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and an Adjunct Faculty member in the Department of Pediatrics at The Ohio State University. Dr. Irwin is responsible for leading and assuring the development, implementation, and evaluation of school health services delivered by the hospital. Dr. Irwin’s research and expertise focuses on the intersection between health and education inclusive of interventions to eliminate health status as a barrier to learning for children and adolescents experiencing chronicity and for those experiencing health inequities.

Kathryn Kirkpatrick, MSW, PhD, LISW-S

Kathryn Kirkpatrick, MSW, PhD, LISW-S

Nationwide Children’s Hospital

Kathryn is the education coordinator for the hematology/oncology division at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. She has led the development of the school intervention program and implementation of the tiered intervention model in the division. After many years as a pediatric social worker, Kathryn turned her attention to the academic needs of students with chronic medical conditions. With a PhD in educational psychology her interests are in academic motivation and long term outcomes. She has been an active member of HEAL, having served various leadership roles in APHOES and AECMN prior to the merge. She is currently a member of the editorial committee for Continuity in Education.

Kyle Landry, MEd

Kyle Landry, MEd

Children's Hospital of Wisconsin

Kyle Landry is the Program Manager for Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin’s School Intervention Program. Since starting the program in 2015, she has served over 400 children with pediatric heart disease by conducting comprehensive school assessments in the clinical environment and helping school staff implement interventions within the school. Landry is leading a shift in best practice for pediatric follow-up care with the creation of a standardized assessment toolkit and formalized intervention protocol. Landry graduated with her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education (2010) and a master’s degree in Cultural Foundations of Community and Education (2018) from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. She previously was a teacher for Milwaukee Public Schools specializing in youth placed at risk for school failure in grades K-4th. Landry’s volunteer and work experiences are rooted very deeply in her belief that every child should have equal access to quality education.

Annie LeClere, BS

Annie LeClere, BS

Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children's Hospital

Annie is a Hospital Teacher/School Liaison at the Dick and Linda Antonini Hospital School Program at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan. An Elementary and Special Education graduate from Butler University, she began her teaching career in Avon, Indiana as a special education teacher to high-needs learners kindergarten through fourth grade. She continued her life’s passion advocating for the academic needs of students when starting at HDVCH in 2018, but this time for children with chronic medical conditions. She also serves as an adult leader on the hospital’s Teen Council.

Heather Lewis

Heather Lewis

Regina Public Schools

Jennifer Lindwall, PhD

Jennifer Lindwall, PhD

University of Colorado/Children's Hospital Colorado

Jennifer Lindwall, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at the University of Colorado, and a licensed clinical psychologist at Children’s Hospital Colorado (CHCO). She is the lead psychologist in a multidisciplinary school/treatment program for youth with significant medical diagnoses, where she provides psychosocial support and leads program evaluation and program development efforts. She is also the lead psychologist in a multidisciplinary clinic for youth with multiple sclerosis. Dr. Lindwall also serves as a Co-Investigator for a research investigation examining the impact of a tele-coaching intervention to promote adherence in youth with cystic fibrosis.

Andrea Martin, BS

Andrea Martin, BS

Veritas Collaborative

Andrea Martin is a science, special education and math teacher who has enjoyed teaching in special and general education classrooms ranging from severe and profound special education schools to honors level courses in the elementary, middle and high school range. Andrea has volunteered at local hospitals in Georgia with her trained golden retriever therapy dog, Apollo, as well as served as assistant marching band director for several award-winning marching bands in Alabama and Georgia. Andrea currently serves adolescent and young adult patients of all abilities and backgrounds at Veritas Collaborative, a national healthcare system for the treatment of eating disorders.

Claudia Mazzeschi, PhD

Claudia Mazzeschi, PhD

University of Perugia, Italy

Bio Unavailable

JoAnna Miller, MA in Special Education

JoAnna Miller, MA in Special Education

UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland

JoAnna Miller is the special education teacher at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland. She holds a MA in Special Education from Brandman University and a BA from UC Berkeley. JoAnna primarily works with children on the intensive inpatient rehabilitation unit, including children with acquired and traumatic brain injuries. Prior to her role as a teacher at UBCHO, she served for eight years as a special education teacher in Oakland Unified Public Schools and as a school district case manager.

Deanna Morgan, BA

Deanna Morgan, BA

Children's Medical Center Dallas

Deanna Morgan is a certified Educational Specialist at Children’s Health, Children’s Medical Center –Plano in the Center for Pediatric Eating Disorders. Deanna has worked with eating disorder patients for the past 12 years. Prior to her tenure as a teacher she was a milieu therapist. Deanna holds a B.A in Psychology and an associate’s degree in counseling. Deanna is a passionate advocate for patients who have an eating disorder in schools. Deanna is fulfilling Children’s mission “making life better for children” by ensuring that schools in North Texas and beyond understand the impact that an eating disorder can have on education.

Ben Orford, MEd

Ben Orford, MEd

Queensland Children's Hospital School

Ben Orford has worked in the education field for more than 10 years and is passionate about improving education delivery for students with complex mental health conditions. Ben has recently been appointed to the Head of Campus for the new Adolescent Extended Treatment Centre in Brisbane. In this role, Ben works closely with Education, Health and community stakeholders to improve education outcomes for students with complex mental health conditions across the state.

Luciana Pagano Salmi, MS in Clinical Psychology

Luciana Pagano Salmi, MS in Clinical Psychology

University of Utah

Bio Unavailable

Catherine Parts, MAT

Catherine Parts, MAT

Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

Catherine Parts, MAT, has a wide range of experience, ranging from journalism to teaching. For the past seven years, she has served as a School Services Specialist II at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, providing direct academic support to patients and ongoing collaboration with school faculty. Catherine’s main units to support are Dialysis, Pulmonary, and CBDI (international patients). Prior to this, she worked with the psychiatric patients’ school program for five years. With a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in Secondary English Education with Reading Specialist Certification, Catherine has 25 years of experience in publishing and teaching English, Reading and ESL in K-12 schools in Cincinnati, Boston, and Providence while also raising her three children. Teaching, learning, and volunteering with Cincinnati Music Hall and United Way are her passions, while running and gardening are what keep her grounded.

Laura Rodriguez, MEd

Laura Rodriguez, MEd

MD Anderson Children's Pediatric Hospital

Laura N Rodriguez serves as the Early Childhood Coordinator at the Children’s Cancer Hospital at MD Anderson. For the last two years she has thoughtfully designed an Early Childhood Program that assesses patients’ needs, personalized curriculum plans, and implemented a family program and leveled literacy library for pediatric patients ages 3-5. For the last 11 years Laura has equipped future early childhood educators in her work at Houston Community College. She received her Master’s degree in Early Childhood from the University of Houston in Clear Lake and her undergraduate degree in education from Baylor University.

Christie Ruehl, JD/MBA

Christie Ruehl, JD/MBA

Children's Hospital of Wisconsin

Christie Ruehl is the School Intervention Program (SIP) Coordinator at Children’s Wisconsin. Ruehl is an interdisciplinary attorney dedicated to enhancing school support services for children with complex medical conditions by connecting their unique healthcare histories to educational challenges. Since joining the SIP team in 2016, Ruehl spearheaded initiatives to expand clinical services, standardize intervention protocols, and scientifically validate novel tools. Ruehl received her Juris Doctorate (2006) and Master of Business Administration (2009) degrees from Stetson University and her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology (2002) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Karen Sexton, MEd

Karen Sexton, MEd

Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

Karen has been with Cincinnati Children’s Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry for 13 years. As a school specialist in a 7-10 day Partial Hospitalization Program, she supports patients, families, and school staff in understanding emotional difficulties in order to help students re-engage with learning. Karen is also a graduate of the Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy Program at the Cincinnati Psychoanalytic Institute.

Ashley Smith, BA

Ashley Smith, BA

MD Anderson Children's Cancer Hospital

Ashley M. Smith is the Visual Arts Coordinator for Arts in Medicine at MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital. An alum of Baylor University, Ashley has been with the institution for four years, providing normalizing, adaptive, integrative, educational, and rehabilitative Creative Arts programming to patients and families.

Sarah Smith, BA

Sarah Smith, BA

Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children's Hospital

Sarah Smith is the Dick and Linda Antonini Endowed Hospital Teacher/School Liaison and a Child Life Lead at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. Sarah has over twenty years of experience in education and has been advocating for the academic needs of children with chronic conditions since starting in this role in 2011. She developed the hospital’s first Teen Council, implemented an elementary group school program, and helped increase staffing within the hospital’s school program. Additionally, Sarah has served on the executive boards of AECMN and APHOES. In 2017, she was the recipient of the Nan Songer Distinguished Member Award and HEAL Vice President in 2019.

Pete Stavinoha, PhD

Pete Stavinoha, PhD

UT MD Anderson Cancer Center

Pete Stavinoha, PhD, ABPP is a pediatric neuropsychologist and Professor in Pediatrics at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. He provides neurocognitive and academic assessment for possible late effects of cancer treatment. In his clinical practice and in research endeavors, he is interested in the intersection between neurocognitive function and school performance in pediatric brain tumor survivors, and particularly how to tailor supports for maximum benefit for children experiencing cognitive late effects of treatment.

Sarah Steinke, MEd, MA

Sarah Steinke, MEd, MA

Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center for School Services

Sarah Steinke, Med, MA has expertise on the topic of the hospital teacher because she has spent her career as a hospital teacher. Sarah has worked for different departments and has taught a variety of patient populations. Prior to her time at the hospital, she taught high school social studies and is a mom to 3 kids. Currently she is a School Specialist III serving the patients with the highest educational risk for The Center for School Services. She also coordinates many community and university volunteers and student teachers and heads the teacher licensure for the hospital.

Priti Tewari, MD

Priti Tewari, MD

MD Anderson Cancer Center

Priti Tewari is a Pediatric Oncology and Stem Cell Transplant Physician who currently leads the division’s Education Team and is also the Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Fellowship Director.

Katherine Toman, MS

Katherine Toman, MS

Veritas Collaborative

Katherine Toman is an Education and Vocation Coordinator at Veritas Collaborative in Richmond, VA. Before hospital education, her career was in teaching high school and college Mathematics. Katherine now supports adolescent patients through a full range of academic requirements and transitions throughout PHP and IOP treatment. She also educates area schools about eating disorders and proper student support. For young adult and adult patients, Katherine manages employee-based disability needs and spearheaded the development of vocation and life skills groups. Her professional mission is to guide patients and families in all academic and vocational parts of treatment and recovery.

Perry Trattos, MEd Inclusive Ed, Grad Cert Behaviour Management, B/Ed Primary

Perry Trattos, MEd Inclusive Ed, Grad Cert Behaviour Management, B/Ed Primary

Department of Education, Queensland

Based at Queensland Children’s Hospital School as Campus Principal since 2019, Perry has held a wide range of experiences in numerous settings including P-12, distance education, primary and secondary. Perry has also held a director and executive director role in the department leading capability programs for the department. Perry is passionate about improving access to learning and his next challenge is to connect hospitalized students in Queensland via innovative and inclusive technologies. Based at Queensland Children’s Hospital School (QCHS) as Campus Principal since 2019, Perry has a wide range of experiences in numerous settings including P-12, distance education, primary and secondary. Perry has also held a director and executive director role in the department leading capability programs. Perry is passionate about inclusion and his next challenge at QCHS is to provide hospitalized students anywhere in Queensland the opportunity to learn alongside their same age peers via innovative and inclusive learning platforms.

Virginia Trimble, MEd

Virginia Trimble, MEd

Phoenix Children's Hospital

Virginia Trimble has been a hospital teacher and re-entry specialist for nine years with experience at Cardon Children’s Medical Center and now at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Virginia earned her undergraduate degree in Elementary and Special Education from Northern Arizona University, and furthered her education with a M.Ed. in Administration and Adult and Continuing Education. As a retired public school special education teacher, Success Facilitator and AVID teacher; she found that children with medical challenges were often unsuccessful with achievement goals unless they had an advocate who understood the educational process and assisted the family. She was also fortunate to have witnessed the amazing successes of medically fragile students when they did receive appropriate support. Her personal goal became problem solving with patients, their families and their school settings to offer success and fulfillment while learning. She continues to learn each day from her patients!

Catherine Vautier, MEd

Catherine Vautier, MEd

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago

Katie Vautier, M. Ed, co-leads the hospital-wide School Services Program at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Katie has a Master’s Degree in education with an endorsement in Spanish. She taught kindergarten, third, fifth and sixth grades in the Chicago Public Schools before starting at the hospital. As a School Services Coordinator, Katie provides student instruction in all subject areas while working closely with families and schools to ensure students are staying on track academically while inpatient.

Scott Zagalak, MEd

Scott Zagalak, MEd

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago

Scott Zagalak, M. Ed, co-leads the hospital-wide School Services Program at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Scott has a Master’s degree in education with endorsements in math, social science, business and economics, and Spanish. His teaching license also includes a Learning Behavior Specialist I endorsement. Before Lurie Children’s, he taught as a Chicago Public Schools teacher for 10 years. He is a Golden Apple Teacher of Distinction and received the 2016 Griffin Award for Teacher of Excellence from the University of Chicago. As a life-long learner, he believes learning should be fun, engaging, and hands-on.