Meet Shari Duddy

Top Special Education Teacher in New Jersey

About Shari Duddy

Shari Duddy is a New Jersey special Ed and elementary school teacher; she has nearly 30 years of experience in the classroom. Her philosophy of education is founded on respect for all, including students, teachers and parents. Duddy’s personal mission remains motivating students and peers to reach their fullest potential. She has continued to lead in the field of education by example. Shari sets high standards for her students; but also holds herself to the highest of standards. Duddy has set herself apart in the educational setting and is considered to be a highly skilled educator in the state of New Jersey.

Educational Background

Shari Duddy got her start in the educational system and took her first teaching position at South Orange-Maplewood public schools in New Jersey where she taught third grade. She built up a few years of successful teaching experience and then took a position at another New Jersey school, Livingston Public School. Here she began to learn about the Orton-Gillingham teaching method. This unique teaching method was developed at Columbia University by a pathologist. The teaching model is based on principles which create concentrated rehabilitation activities for students with disabilities. The focus is on reading, reading comprehension, writing and spelling.

Duddy studied literacy education at the Teacher’s College at Columbia University located in New York. Here is where she spent time cultivating her teaching methods as well as her training expertise. She went on to continue her educational pursuits and obtained a Master’s Degree of Education in Instruction, Curriculum and Administration. She was awarded her MD at Kean University located in New Jersey. Because of her belief in setting high standards and being a lifelong learner and educator, Duddy then attended William Paterson University in New Jersey and obtained a Learning Disabilities Teacher Consultant Certification. She has since received her Supervisory Certification through Kean University as well as her Principal Certification.

Special Education Breakthroughs

One of Shari Duddy’s notable achievements includes her work on a pilot program and efforts to break the barriers that existed between special education and general education settings. She saw the ways schools dealt with students as out of date and antiquated. Older methods and practices which separated the two learning groups have been unproductive and ineffective. Duddy headed the pilot program in which brought the two groups of students together rather than separating them. Once the students were grouped together, teaching methods were changed and adapted to incorporate a multi-sensory perspective and addressed each student’s personal strengths in learning rather than attempting to deal with their disabilities. The program has been praised by educators because of its positive approach to teaching students with disabilities. Its perspective is one of support, encouragement and motivation. The development of this program is a demonstration of Shari’s belief that each and every student can potentially succeed at learning no matter what challenges they may be faced with. Her efforts in changing the teaching style for directly dealing with students in a positive way has been the topic of numerous newspaper articles. In the 90s, Duddy was also featured in “What’s Right in American Education.”

Shari Duddy and the Special Education Community

Shari has had the opportunity of working in a variety of school districts as a case manager for students with disabilities. She has created several programs and been able to diagnose different learning issues faced in educational facilities. Duddy has also had the opportunity to train other educators in the DRA, “Foundations,” specifics of the Administrative Code and the Child Study Team referral process.

To maintain an active voice and continue to play a major role in the Special Education

community, Shari is a member of key groups including:

· Reading Instruction in Special Education – This is a group comprised of specialists, administrators, teachers, parents and students. She shares knowledge, experience and expertise as it pertains to reading instruction.

· Coaching Parents for Special Education – Parents make up this group in which they work together to understand the disabilities their children have and how it impacts their capabilities to learn. The goal of this group is to work with the children to ensure they graduate from high school and college. Group members also take an active role in sharing information with the community about the public school system, children’s rights (as they pertain to special education), and keeping parents informed about the availability of public resources.

Shari continues to work in the New Jersey and New York Metropolitan region.

Continuing Education

Shari Duddy has put in many decades of practical instruction in the New Jersey school system and believes that all students can be motivated to learn. Along with her pursuits in special education, she also has advocated for continuing education for classroom teachers. She believes that teachers should continue developing methods and skills to be successful in their field. Shari is a lifelong advocate for using innovative approaches to teaching and constantly updating methods used to instruct students. Her goal is to help teachers take initiative and continue their education for their own success both in and out of the classroom. Shari has had the opportunity to work in a several different school districts in the New Jersey area where she served as case manager; she created comprehensive educational materials and programs for teachers. These programs offer encouragement for teachers to continue pursuing lifelong learning. These programs are supportive in nature and are designed to respect the various learning styles of each individual learner.

Duddy has taught “Developmental Reading Assessment” to educators. This program demonstrates how to properly evaluate the independent reading level of each student and determining their reading comprehension level. It also teaches educators to monitor the progress students make and helps provide teachers with instruction on how to motivate and drive the educational process for students. “Foundations” is another program that Shari uses to train educators. This is a reading and spelling program that uses phonics based instructional model.

Another educational program Shari remains an active part in is the “Child Study Team-Referral Process.” This is a referral based system that is made up of a variety of educational professionals including, administrators, educational psychologists and educators. These professionals assess children and refer children who they feel could possibly benefit from special need services.

Staying Connected with the Special Ed Professional Community

Shari Duddy continues to be active in several professional groups in her communities. Her goal is to get parents to become a key part of their child’s educational process. She offers hands-on approaches to help parents gain a solid understanding of how children with disabilities work through the learning process. By engaging parents in their child’s educational process, she hopes the end goal is that more students will graduate from high school and experience success in other areas in their lives. Perhaps they will continue their education in a university setting and eventually graduate college as well. The ultimate success is those students who go on to be actively involved in their communities. Shari is a constant advocate for the rights of children in the special education system.

“Reading Instruction in Special Education” is another association in which she remains active. In this community she communicates with different professionals and parents who all contribute from their education, expertise and experiences in reading instruction.

Community Involvement

Shari believes in empowering all individuals and devotes her time outside of work to volunteering in a variety of charitable organizations in her immediate community. Habitat for Humanity is one of the organizations where she devotes her time and energy. She works with different individuals toward the goal of eliminating homelessness and poverty through the provision of affordable housing specifically in low-income neighborhoods. She also works with an animal rescue program which takes in stray dogs and provides them with shelter, food and love. Other activities she participates in within her community includes offering private tutoring and teaching meditation and yoga.

Educational Leadership

Ms. Duddy continues to be a leader in the educational field throughout New Jersey and New York. Her nearly three decades of experience in the arena has helped her become established as a leader in education. She is respected for her expertise and involvement in helping motivate and cultivate young minds; and her advocacy for continuing education for educators. Her life is lived with the personal conviction that all teachers and educational professionals should always expect success from all students rather they are in a general education or a special education program. She always advocates to encourage, support and empower teachers to build on the strengths of students no matter what types of challenges they may face in their learning attempts. She works to help everyone involved in the educational process so that they can achieve excellence and their own personal best. Shari is highly respected in the educational setting as a teacher and a facilitator; and is considered a skilled educator for children and adults alike. Her career goals include developing comprehensive educational programs for both students and educators so that they are successful in their endeavors both in and out of the classroom setting.