From high-stakes fashion to a special education classroom

Former New York manner merchandiser Celia Ayenesazan helps small children with disabilities make self-confidence in the classroom

Celia Ayenesazan, middle, with peers at Louise Radloff Middle University, chose Ga Southern’s Learn of Educating program to grow to be a certified instructor in distinctive education and learning.

Extended Island, New York, indigenous Celia Ayenesazan graduated from the Style Institute of Technologies almost 30 decades in the past and spent much more than two a long time doing work for Federated Office Stores, Inc., just one of America’s greatest operators of premier retail chains such as Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s. But nothing delivers her far more pleasure than major her have exclusive training classroom. 

This week, Ayenesazan walks across Georgia Southern University’s commencement phase to get paid a Grasp of Arts in Training (MAT), and a next probability at a fulfilling job.

At the peak of her profession, she sourced garments for Ann Taylor, Categorical and Liz Claiborne, but put her job on maintain subsequent the beginning of her daughter to turn into a keep-at-dwelling mom.

“I didn’t do the job in an workplace placing for 8 several years,” she defined. “I was away from the speedy-paced fashion sector for a extended time. I wasn’t sure if my skill sets experienced develop into obsolete. A friend instructed that I utilize for a task at the community preschool mainly because she observed the level of engagement I experienced with young kids. I was hesitant, but it was the ideal matter I ever did as it led to a new occupation.”

In 2016, Ayenesazan and her loved ones moved South to metro Atlanta to be a part of her extended loved ones exactly where she secured a paraprofessional place at an elementary school. 

In no time, Ayenesazan was inspired by her peers and directors to turn out to be qualified and lead her personal classroom. She selected Georgia Southern University’s entirely on the net MAT application to grow to be a licensed teacher in exclusive training.

“I labored as a paraprofessional in a self-contained distinctive education and learning classroom and at any time given that then I have had a connection with learners with disabilities,” Ayenesazan explained. “The reward of this perform is enormous and the influence can be found pretty much each individual working day.”

Now, Ayenesazan is in her 2nd calendar year at Radloff Middle Faculty in Duluth, Georgia, a Title I college with 98{5b4d37f3b561c14bd186647c61229400cd4722d6fb37730c64ddff077a6b66c6} minority enrollment and 83{5b4d37f3b561c14bd186647c61229400cd4722d6fb37730c64ddff077a6b66c6} economically deprived pupils.

Considering that joining the college, she has been awarded numerous grants and concluded numerous DonorsChoose tasks, totaling much more than $55,000 in donations and grant funding to help new and impressive initiatives to combine students with disabilities into the normal schooling populace.

“Because I educate in a self-contained classroom [where students with similar disabilities are taught in one classroom], our college students are normally not jointly with the basic education population,” she discussed. “I want my learners to attain self-confidence in their capabilities and thrust them out of the nest, so to speak. Social assist is so critical in this method.”

That is why Ayenesazan has concentrated significantly of her grant seeking on attempts that permit learners with disabilities to take part in fingers-on, one of a kind understanding chances with students from the standard populace. Due to the fact Ayenesazan started at Radloff Middle, she has created an outside mastering surroundings and gardening space, in addition to Tower Gardens, an aeroponic indoor growing procedure, to lengthen the finding out working experience by expanding greens in the classroom, yr-round. College students cultivate the vegetables and acquire them house to cook them. She commenced the very first LEGO robotics workforce for pupils with disabilities that competed in a regional competitors. Most recently, Ayenesazan acquired a $20,000 grant to create a new multi-sensory area that will be comprehensive with option lights, fiber optics, vibrating chairs, bubble tubes, bean bag chairs, swings and fidgeting actions.

“The multi-sensory room can deliver a relaxed room for college students with disabilities, to have interaction with peers in the general education and learning and particular training options,” mentioned Ayenesazan. “It will present an alternate to a classroom house for students to socialize and collaborate. The best intention is to give all pupils an inclusive finding out ecosystem.”

In the in the vicinity of future, Ayenesazan programs to start out a sewing club so students can master standard stitching capabilities and produce costumes for the school’s drama performances. She also coordinated with numerous teachers to build the school’s first gardening club. An additional enthusiasm she has is to instruct pupils to acknowledge the electric power of their voice advocacy skills.

“I love imagining out of the box and discovering revolutionary approaches to empower all students,” said Ayenesazan. “When you adore what you do, you devote your endeavours to make a big difference in the life of all learners.”

Kenneth Proto

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