NC ELSSP-VI Newsletter

August 2016

Each child will be honored, respected, and empowered to achieve success in school and life.

North Carolina Early Learning Sensory Support Program for Children with Visual Impairments

NC Department of Public Instruction

Office of Early Learning

August's Quote

When one teaches, two learn.

-Robert Heinlein


Student Pictures Submitted by NC ELSSP-VI Staff


Professional Development Submitted by Lin Causey

Convocation Information Submitted by Bethany Mayo

Night at the Museum Submitted by Bethany Mayo

Welcome New Staff

Director's Spotlight Submitted by Bethany Mayo


Attention: TVI Needed!!!

The ELSSP/VI team wants YOU!!! TVI needed for Wake, Franklin, Vance, and Warren Counties. This job will be posted until August 16th. Please see link below for more information...

Professional Development Opportunities

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Mulitcultural Considerations in Screening and Diagnosis of ASD in Children

Free Webinar August 18, 2016 3:00-4:00

Presented by: Pamela DiLavore, Ph.D.
University of North Carolina TEACCH Autism Program
in collaboration with the NC ASD State Implementation grant


Annual Children’s Services State of the Art Conference

August 25 & 26, 2016 August 25 & 26, 2016

Hilton Doubletree

New Bern, NC


The 12th Annual Eastern Region Intellectual

and Developmental Disabilities (IDD)

Services Conference

October 20 & 21, 2016 Holiday Inn 203 SW Greenville Blvd, Greenville, NC

Great Opportunity

Apple Workshops at the Apple Store for VI Accessibility Features

Check your Apple store for more information.

Convocation Information

Time is drawing near! It will soon be time to join together once again for our annual Opening Convocation. This year we are offering an optional Pre Conference Session for anyone who would like to attend. Please see the agenda below.

August 9th, 8:30-4:30 pm: Pre Conference for ELSSP-VI (Optional) at the Governor Morehead School. 301 Ashe Ave., Raleigh, NC. More information to be shared at a later date. Please contact Bethany Mayo for additional information.

August 10th, 8:30-4:30 pm: Day 1 of Opening Convocation for all ELSSP (Mandatory) at Department of Public Instruction, 301 N. Wilmington St, Raleigh, NC. Room 150.

August 11th, 8:30-4:30 pm: Day 2 of Opening Convocation for all ELSSP (Mandatory) at Department of Public Instruction, 301 N. Wilmington St., Raleigh, NC.

ELSSP-VI: Room 150

ELSSP-HI State Board Room 7th Floor

Night at the Museum

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences will be hosting a “special night for special needs” on Thursday, August 11, 2016 from 5:30-8:00pm. Our Nature Exploration Center (11 West Jones Street) will be open late to provide a welcoming low-sensory evening for visitors and families of all ages with special needs.

Date: August, 11, 2016

Time: Event runs from 5:30-8:00.

Location: NC Museum of Natural Sciences’: Nature Exploration Center (older of our two downtown Raleigh buildings) – 11 West Jones Street, Raleigh, NC 27601

Welcome Beth Shaw

Beth lives in Winston-Salem and feels privileged to have served young children and their families in her community for the past sixteen years. Previous to her position with the ELSSP/VI, Beth taught in an inclusive toddler classroom at The Children’s Center in Winston-Salem. For ten years she taught two year olds with a variety of abilities. Having studied at UNC and Salem College, her educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education. In the fall she will begin coursework in the TVI program at NCCU. In her free time Beth enjoys reading, writing, spending time with family and friends, and visiting the beach as often as possible. She is very excited about this new direction her career is taking and is delighted to be a part of the ELSSP/VI team. Welcome Beth!

Welcome Maureen Walsh

Maureen received her Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Eastern New Mexico University and her Master’s Degree in Visual Disabilities from Florida State University. She currently holds a teaching license in Mental Disabilities and in Visual Impairments for North Carolina. Maureen is also certified as an orientation and mobility specialist through ACVREP. Her most recent teaching experience includes serving as the teacher of the visually impaired, orientation and mobility specialist, preschool coordinator and educational diagnostician for Bladen County Schools. Maureen's current interests include learning to raise chickens and spending time with her nephew and niece. Welcome Maureen!

August Staff Birthdays

August 11th Marcia Rollings

August 14th Kathy Russell

August 16th Marigail Matthijs

August 17th Rhonda Coley

August 19th Andi Finney-Ratliff

Director's Spotlight

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Jennifer Simmons

This month the Director’s Spotlight is Jennifer Simmons. Jennifer grew up in Florida and after college, she moved to North Carolina to work at a wilderness camp in the mountains. Jennifer worked as a counselor-teacher and case manager prior to entering education. She has earned her certification to teach in the areas of learning disability and visual impairment, as well as a master's degree for orientation and mobility. Jennifer has a beautiful 8-year old daughter who keeps her active with Girl Scout activities and horseback riding lessons. In Jennifer’s spare time, she enjoys outdoor activities, such as hiking and kayaking.

Jennifer began working with the Early Learning Sensory Support Program in April of 2016. Joined our team and went right to work serving children in Guilford County and surrounding areas. Jennifer has been a team player since day one and has had many compliments from professionals internally and externally on what a great job she does with children and families.

Thank you, Jennifer for all that you do everyday and for being the Director’s Spotlight.

Photo/Video Credits