Image of apples with text GoodApple116
  • These exceptional professionals all offer unique services to our students, our co-workers, and our communities.  Not only do they embrace the district culture, but they are also leading the charge for innovation, efficiencies, and learning. RLAS #GoodApples are leading our district, our students and our classrooms into the future.

    These are the RLAS #GoodApples for 2019-2020 school year!

JANUARY'S #GOODAPPLE116: Colleen Johnson

  • Image of Colleen Johnson in classroom

    In your words, what do you do for Round Lake Area Schools District 116? 

    I am a Speech and Language Pathologist. My goal every day is to assist all students to meet and enhance their maximum ability to communicate.  

     

    How long have you worked for RLAS116?

    I will be completing my ninth year at Round Lake, District 116.

     

    What does an average workday look like for you?

    First thing every morning, I attend a meeting that pertains to a variety of grade-level MTSS meetings and PLC meetings. I provide speech and language services for kindergarten through fifth- grade students in General Education, Bilingual, and Educational Life Skills Classrooms (K-3). Within the Educational Life Skills Classrooms,  I consult with teachers about individual strategies to assist students to communicate multi-modally (point/picture systems/ static display word boards/high tech dedicated devices and/or voice output systems. A variety of Augmentative and Alternative Communication options are effectively trialed to determine how to provide the most functional communication system for that specific student. The most exciting part of my day is when I see a teacher or teacher assistant model language using the student's low or high tech communication system within the classroom, nurse's office, or special. The student's communicative attempts are respected and reflected by the entire team of professionals. I often receive a message on my phone/computer to come down quickly to see communication in action! Engineering the environment continues to be a critical feature to enhance functional communication. 

     

    What are 5 words for someone looking to be a Speech and Language Pathologist?

    Flexible, Caring, Insightful, Patient, and Knowledgeable. 

     

    What is your favorite part of your job?

    The favorite part of my job is working closely with parents and teachers regarding how to carryover learned speech and language skills to the home environment.

     

    What movie title best describes your life?

    The Pursuit of Happiness.

     

    What do you wish you knew more about?

    I wish I knew more about golf. I would like to be on a golf league. I also would like to be a consultant for students who could benefit from Augmentative and Alternative Communication.

     

    What TV channel doesn't exist, but really should?   

    A TV channel with an emphasis on students who exhibit special needs.

     

    When was the last time you climbed a tree?

    I grew up down the street from a family who had 14 children. (Ruettiger: Rudy Movie). They had many apple trees that we climbed as children:)

     

    What was your first concert?

    My first concert was Van Halen:)


November's #GoodApple116: Maria Colunga

  • Image of Maria Colunga In your words, what do you do for Round Lake Area Schools District 116?

    I organize programs and activities in partnership with the Bilingual Parents Advisory Committee (BPAC) and the Parents Advisory Council (PAC) in order to promote parental involvement and foster school-home connections.

    How long have you worked for RLAS116?

    9 years.

    What does an average workday look like for you?

    Meeting with parents and their students on a one-on-one basis to connect them with school support programs or affordable or free community resources.

    What are 5 words for someone looking to be a Parent Liaison?

    Experienced

    Knowledgeable

    Resourceful

    Patience

    Networking skills

    What is your favorite part of your job?

    Helping parents build effective parenting skills that promote student achievement.

    What movie title/song best describes your life?

    What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong

    What do you wish you knew more about? (Does not have to be job-related)

    More about my ancestors.

    What TV channel doesn’t exist, but really should?

    Reading books channel

    What was the last time you climbed a tree?

    Two years ago, when my daughter graduated from 8th grade.  She wanted a picture on a tree with her parents. Not a good idea.

    What was your first concert/celebrity meeting?

    A long time ago when I worked in a Spanish radio station in Chicago.  



October's #GoodApple#116: Laura Strange

  • Image of Laura Strange What do you do for Round Lake Area Schools District 116?

    I am the elementary Curriculum and Instructional Specialist for Special Education. I support our special education teachers with curriculum and programming. I am also available to support teachers however they need to be supported. I also review Individual Education Programs for compliance which is pretty important!!

    How long have you worked for RLAS116?

    12 years

    What does an average workday look like for you?

    I spend most of my days in the elementary buildings. I visit classrooms, attend IEP meetings, meet with teachers, and collaborate with other specialists.

    What are 5 words for someone looking to be a Curriculum and Instructional Specialist for Special Education?

    Supportive, dedicated, flexible, creative, and a leader.

    What is your favorite part of the job?

    The best part of my job is getting connected with so many teachers across the elementary buildings. I also enjoy seeing so many of my past students.

    What song title best describes your life?

    "Walking on Sunshine"

    What do you wish you knew more about?

    How to work my Cricut!

    What TV Channel doesn't exist, but really should?

    There is literally a channel for all my favorite things, however, if there were a channel all about decorating cookies I would be happy!

    When was the last time you climbed a tree?

    I can't remember!

    What was your first concert?

    My first concert was Smashmouth with my best friend in high school.