Mr. Ackerman's Blog

Interview with new Special Education Administrator

July 17, 2017 · No Comments

As some of you may know, Luann Foley retired last December from the Special Education Administrator position at Lane. We were fortunate to have Sarah Orlov take over the job for the remainder of the school year. However, Sarah has recently accepted a promotion in a district closer to her home. Although multiple changes can be difficult for a school, here at Lane we take great pride in ensuring smooth transitions for staff, students and families. With this in mind, we are very excited to announce Michelle Dellavalle will be coming over to the Lane School from Bedford High School to be our long term Special Education Administrator.  Michelle brings lots of well-rounded experience to the position. I know parents will appreciate her support in making sure students with disabilities are successful at Lane.

Here is a short “Q and A” with Michelle to introduce her to the Lane community.

Why did you decide to become a teacher?

I officially decided to become a teacher after accepting a part-time job while in college as a long-term substitute teacher in an alternative learning program in Amherst. This was my first introduction to the world of special education and I knew right away that it was my career path. It made me realize that I had always been interested in this population- from a job in high school reading to a blind elderly woman to babysitting a family friend who had cerebral palsy to my interest in our 5th grade curriculum, Understanding Disabilities. I have always had a fondness for working with people with unique differences but hadn’t known much about Special Education. Although it was too late to change my undergraduate major from Psychology to education (though I tried!), I planned to pursue Special Education for my Master’s degree.

What makes you excited about coming to the Lane School?

I am excited to see Bedford from a new perspective! I have been in the district for ten years at JGMS and then BHS. I am excited to come to Lane to be a part of the work that goes into building our students’ foundational skills. I am also really looking forward to field day!

What is your fondest memory when you were in Gr 3-5 as a student?

I think that my fondest memory from grades 3-5 was the Understanding Disabilities curriculum that I mentioned in the first question. As 5th graders, we were exposed to people with a variety of different disabilities and participated in activities designed to help us to experience life as a person with a disability. I have no doubt that this helped me gain empathy and understanding for those with differences.

Tell us one thing people might be surprised to learn about you?

People are often surprised to learn that I lived in Las Vegas! After living in California and looking for a new adventure, my husband and I moved to Nevada where I finished my Master’s degree and worked at a high school in the Clark County School district. Although a wonderful and unique experience, we happily moved back to Mass in 2007.

Any highlights from the summer so far?

At the end of June, we traveled to Asheville, North Carolina to visit family. We ate BBQ, hiked and toured the Biltmore mansion. What a great way to kick off the summer!

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