Spotlight Saturday, Jennifer Franco, Special Educator - Hearing and Speech Agency

Spotlight Saturday, Jennifer Franco, Special Educator

What drew you to HASA originally? Both of my parents are deaf and my mom attended Gateway when she was younger at HASA's former building in the 1960s, so I had known about Gateway for awhile. Then when I was attending Stevenson University, John Sloan, Director of the Center  for Fluency Enhancement, was my speech professor and brought me to Gateway to observe for a project we had to complete in class. I fell in love with the atmosphere, the small class sizes, and friendliness of everyone at HASA and Gateway.

How long have you been affiliated with HASA and in what capacity? In August 2015 I was hired as a long-term substitute, then quickly hired as a 1:1 Instructional Assistant for a student. I had previously taught fourth grade regular education. I fell in love with the special education population and professional atmosphere at Gateway and took the Praxis in order to become certified in special education and became a teacher here in 2016!

What is your favorite memory with HASA? My favorite memory with HASA would have to be the graduation in 2015; the student I was working with had come so far and I was so proud of him and excited for his future.

What's the one thing you want people to know about HASA? HASA has great team members that work together including teachers, instructional assistants, psychologists, social workers, speech therapists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, audiologists, etc. Everyone works together in order to create the best environment for our students.

What are three words to describe HASA? Dedicated, collaborative, and open-minded.

What is your favorite word? This is a difficult question! But my favorite word would be Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious or puppy, because puppies are ultimate happiness. 

What do you like most about HASA? What I like most about HASA are the students. The progress I see my students make, no matter how small or how big, makes everything worth it.

What have you gained from being affiliated with HASA? I have learned a lot about special education, how to really work together with a team in order to create the best learning environment for a student, and being able to do things outside of my comfort zone.

Tell us something about yourself that might surprise us. Something that might surprise you is that I LOVE sloths! They are absolutely my favorite animal, I have no clue how some people don't find them completely adorable and interesting! Another thing would be that I have five tattoos, and more to come! I believe they're a great way to express yourself.

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