Ms. Lisa Simmons
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Both of my parents are educators, so I knew at a rather young age that I'd like to purse a career teaching special education students. After graduating from high school in Izmir, Turkey, I spent 5 years working toward a degree at Northern Arizona University. In 1986, I graduated with a Bachelors of Science degree in Education with an emphasis in Special Education and Early Childhood Education. I was immediately hired by the Peoria Unified School District and spent the next two years teaching a self-contained classroom for children with learning disabilities.
In 1988, my former husband, son and I relocated to Maple Grove, Minnesota. While there, I worked as a Head Teacher at Children's Learning Center . . . a day care setting that my young son also attended. As my husband was offered yet another promotion, we found ourselves relocating to Texas in 1990. I was fortunate to be hired by the Irving School District and worked as a self-contained teacher for children with emotional challenges for the next four years. Once again, our family made the decision to accept a promotion for my husband which landed us back in the Phoenix area. Naturally, I pursued a position in my former Peoria School District and spent two years teaching 3-5th grade emotionally challenged students in a self-contained setting before switching to an itinerant Behavior Specialist role for the next decade.
As my only child grew, I found myself intrigued with the special education preschool program within the Peoria District. Opting to make the change from the itinerant role that had recognized me with a "Pride of Peoria" award, I spent the last 9 years as a Developmental Preschool teacher within the growing and popular west valley district. In May 2014, I resigned my position with the Peoria District after a wonderfully rewarding 19 years to make the leap to the Mesa Unified School District. You can now find me happily spending my days with clever 3-5 year olds as an Early Childhood Special Education teacher at the Jordan Center for Early Education. My hopes are to continue learning and growing as an educator . . . eventually retiring from this position in approximately 11 years.
Until then, I take a great deal of pride in planning units of instruction that stimulate young minds and are aligned to the Arizona State Early Learning Standards. Communicating the literature, vocabulary,and unit topics I've selected is important to me, so I draft a Weekly Newsletter every 3-5 weeks to keep families informed.