WKYC TV3 recognized Gurney Elementary School’s Intervention Specialist Jackie Gerber as a 3News Education Station All-Star Teacher. A news feature aired the morning of the District’s first day of school on Thursday, August 18 during the 3News Morning Newscast.
Principal Rachel Jones nominated Gerber saying, “Mrs. Jackie Gerber can do it all! She is an intervention specialist in our school and works with students in kindergarten through third grade who have a variety of disabilities requiring specialized services outside of the general education classroom.”
Gerber is a certified TEACCH practitioner, certified Wilson Level 1 Tutor, Google Level 1 Certified Teacher and has extensive training in Applied Behavior Analysis, behavior intervention planning and has most recently learned and successfully employed the Autism Level Up program. “All of this training isn’t what makes Mrs. Gerber an all-star teacher – it’s her unwavering compassion and advocacy for all students who live with challenges in their lives,” said Jones “She demonstrates this in the hours beyond the school day/year she puts into meeting her students’ needs and providing their families with the daily communication, support and strategies they need at home. She demonstrates this in never hesitating to assist other teachers in the building with students who are presenting challenges. She collaborates consistently with speech therapists, occupational therapists, a physical therapist, a school psychologist, a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and many different paraprofessionals. When the majority of her students were on the autism spectrum, she threw herself into learning and receiving professional training in programming to meet their needs. When several of her students struggled with reading disorders she made sure to be included in District training to be certified in the Wilson Reading System. Many of her students are also challenged with emotional disorders so she has been reading and learning programming related to social thinking, self regulation, mindfulness and more to help them be successful. In the face of school being solely virtual, Mrs. Gerber was on Zoom each day with these students to support their social and emotional goals. The result of always doing everything she can to meet the various needs of her students.”
Mrs. Gerber works every year to increase her students’ time with typical peers – in general education classes and/or inviting typical peers into her resource classroom for small group activities. She knows these activities benefit all of us by building acceptance, empathy and an inclusive culture. Not only has she demonstrated an endless capacity to learn, she leads training for her paraprofessionals and provides training to our whole staff in strategies they can apply in classrooms to support the needs of all students. Every April she leads our school in activities for Autism Acceptance Month. She provides staff with titles of books to read to classes, activities to do with students, displays for hallways and discussion topics for morning meetings. Finally, Mrs. Gerber takes her students on functional field trips regularly to grocery stores and restaurants, supporting their participation in the larger community. Most recently, she has jumped into work with our local police department to support them in developing their new at-risk resident program.”
In addition to the on-air recognition, Gerber received $500 in gift cards to Dunkin Donuts along with a variety of Dunkin Donuts mugs.
CLICK HERE to watch the news segment.