Exceptional Hart Rocket(eers)

To Inform You and Beyond

Our Team Collectively Has Over 127 Years in Teaching

The Strengths of the Special Education Team

Learner
Achiever
Belief

Consistency

Deliberative

Developer

Humor

Includer

Open-Mindedness

Optimism

Perspective

Responsibility

Self-Control

Strategic

Hadeel Al Obaidi (Special Education Teacher Assistant)

Hi I am Hadeel Al Obaidi. I am from Iraq I born and raised there and I studied at university of Baghdad with a Major in Psychology.
I attended Hart and I joined this great l team in 2014 . I love my job and I have spent more than 13 years working with life skills and I thank we are more than just teachers we offer a message with humanity and love and patience. Thank you

Achievements

Major in Psychology

Ana Bernal (Bilingual Special Education Teacher Assistant)

Ever since I was a little girl, I had something of an illusion — the idea of being she whom educated those trusted within her care. My name is Ana Bernal, and such being the reasoning behind my gaining a Bachelor’s degree in Science of Education from Normal Miguel F. Martinez in Monterrey, Mexico. This led me to working in the field of elementary education for thirteen years in the country I certificated in itself, serving to even further aggregate my enthusiasm towards aiding in numerous steps forward with a child’s earliest years. With time, I found myself having to emigrate to the United States. Upon arrival to this country, I followed my career goals towards a new found status as a Substitute Teacher for a year, only to later integrate myself into the Life Skills team as a Teacher’s Assistant. Such task has allowed me a great opportunity to garner further education in fields beyond those that I’d previously found myself in-comfort with and expand my teaching horizons.

Achievements

Bachelors in Science of Education

Thelma Greene (Special Education Educator)

Strengths:

Achiever

Belief

Consistency

Deliberative

Learner

Responsibility




I believe my purpose in life is to help others to be better and believe in their potential. Everyone has a story to tell of his or her own that makes it unique and personal. My greatest motivation comes when I get to teach to different learning styles to reach and engage student in learning. I find myself working long hours to be ready for new tasks and new challenges that might arise with the day to day issues in teaching. This is my way to head of preventable problems. As a learner myself, I am passionate about education. I love how it feels when I can reach leaner and encourage them to learn daily because it is a gift of knowledge and wisdom.

Achievements

Bachelors of Science Special Education

Masters in Educational - Principal Certification

Bachelors of Science Graphic Arts

Leonardo Guevara Navarro (Special Education Educator)

Strengths:



This is the philosophy that I have being introduced to, like a artist and educator.

In my years as an instructor at Theater Action Project in Austin, Texas, I was introduced in the Freire’s ideas; those were the bridge to discover education as the practice of freedom. I was able to deep in the Paulo Freire philosophy, and to put in practice an efficient approach to a collaborative way with the students. One of Freire premises is co-creation and co-learning, as a big part of pedagogy of the oppressed. Freire advocates that education should allow the oppressed to regain their humanity and overcome their condition. However, he acknowledges that in order for this to take effect, the oppressed have to play a role in their own liberation”


I hope that this can explain what I would like to put in practice like a teacher.

Achievements

Writer

Film maker

Educator

Generalist (Grades EC-6)

Special Education (Grades EC-12)

Bilingual Spanish

University with a M.A in Spanish literature and cinema

Taught creative writing since 1997 to 2001 in Cuba

Published:

Vida en Comunión (Letras Cubanas, 2001)

Piramidal (Extramuros, 2002)

Writing in :

Anthologies Cuerpo sobre Cuerpo (Letras Cubanas, 1999)

Escarceo, Escritores mexicanos y cubanos (Garúa, 1998)

Filmed:

La Habana de Ulises in Havana, Cuba, a documentary discrimination toward Afro-Cubans

Short experimental piece on the Siddis, an Afro-Indian Community located predominately in the state of Gujarat

Mario Hernandez (Special Education Life Skills Educator)

Strengths:

Humor

Open-Mindedness

Optimism

Perspective

Self-Control



I was born and raised in Alamo, TX and graduated from St. Edward’s University in Austin, TX in 2008. As an Educator here at Hart Elementary, not only do I contribute to the student’s Academic Education, but I am also responsible for the implementation of basic social skills that the student will utilize in everyday life. The key to success in our classroom is taking into account what we could do to become a better person for ourselves and how we can make a difference in the World around us. My personal strengths are:

Creativity

Love for Learning

Patience

Social Intelligence

Fairness

Intuitive

Achievements

2003 St. Edward's College Assistance Migrant Program Scholarship Awarded

St. Edward's University Dean's List 2005

2010 Austin, Tx Triathlon Finisher

AISD Teacher of Promise '11-'12

Isela Johnson (Special Education Educator)

Strengths:



I consider myself foremost as an advocate, guide and facilitator to our exceptional Hart Rockets. As a Bilingual Special Educator, I offer individualized guidance to expand our Hart Rockets unique abilities. It is my duty to find how each exceptional Hart Rocket learns using their individual strengths and talents and motivate them, guide them, and lead them to academic excellence.

Achievements

Seeing the joy of a child when they discover they have accomplished something they thought was too difficult.

Clarissa Lerjarza (Special Education Teacher Assistant)

Responsibility, punctuality, hard worker and sense of humor are just a few words that describe her strengths.



With more than 15 years working as a Teacher Assistant, Mrs. Clarissa is a living proof of doing what she was called to be! Mrs. Clarissa loves helping, guiding and teaching students with disabilities. She has been working with AISD for almost 16 years, during this time she has been recognized for her outstanding performance in responsibilities, and received an award for her 15 years of service.

Being a Multilingual Individual she believe that she must bring her belief in continuous learning to the student she teaches each and every day. She has completed a Paraprofessional Certification in Education. She began her career as a Library Assistant 16 years ago she has had the wonderful opportunity to join the Hart Elementary Family.

She was given a chance to work with life skills students and then she decided to stay and work as a paraprofessional for a major portion of her career. That is the reason why she is planning to go back to school and get a higher level of education. Mrs. Clarissa has found herself in love with the school and the educational environment; for more than five years she has been staying after school hours helping and teaching students in others areas such as cooking, gardening and core academic areas for kids. During her time with Rocket Peace Club she has been proving herself as an her excellent educator.

Achievements

Paraprofessional Certification in Education

16 years in Special Education

Educator of World Experience

Howard A. Lovings (Bilingual Special Education Educator)

Strengths:
Learner
Achiever
Strategic
Responsibility
Deliberative


The characteristics and qualities that I poses are those of an open minded, problem solver, with the ability to quickly increase the abilities of all diverse students, which they will encounter. My sole purpose is to help each and every student increase the skills needed to become future positive effective citizens in their community. Not only have the academic skills to go to college but to also have the social and interactive skills to be well rounded individuals in their future. I bring this in my everyday encounter with my students using deliberate modeling. To bring these skills to cognition for my students I always us every day social encounters to the surface by making the students think about choices and how they will affect their life and social perception. At the same time I bring academic skills with questions or examples for the students to understand or relate to more personally.

Achievements

Traveled the World

Continuous Learning Goals always expand

Bachelors of Science Special Education
Texas Elementary Multidisciplinary Certification
Texas Secondary Composite Special Education Certification
Masters in Educational Leadership (3.84 GPA) Texas State
Principal PK-12 Certification
Professional Development and Appraisal System Certification
Instructional Leadership Development Certification
ESL Coordinator Certification
Bilingual Education Certification

Robert Rivera (Special Education Teacher Assistant)

I have been in Education since July 1999 when I started working for AISD at Walnut Creek Elementary. I was employed by the district until June 2011 when my position became part of RIF. During my employment with AISD, I worked as a Library clerk my first year. My 2nd year I worked as a Library Assistant at Travis High School and transferred to LBJ/LASA high school in 2002. I worked there until my position was eliminated in 2011. I was unemployed until Aug of 2012 when I went to work for RRISD as a TA in Special Education. I worked in a Functional Communication Classroom, working with special needs students until Sept 2014. I transferred to work in a PPCD classroom until I was hired here at Hart and started working here Sept 8, 2015.

When I was working on library certification back in 2002-2004, I would visit Hart as my library Mentor was the Librarian here. I have a BA in Sociology from SWTSU, MA Education from Concordia University, and completion of School Library Certification from University of North Texas. I am certified teacher 4-8, in Lang Art/Reading/Social Studies, have been since 2005. My classroom experience has been in Special Education as a Teacher Assistant but have never been a classroom teacher.

Achievements

Bachelors of Arts in Sociology from SWTSU
Masters in Education from Concordia University
School Library Certification from University of North Texas
Teacher Certification grades 4-8, in Lang Art/Reading/Social Studies
Special Education Teacher Assistant

Kara Smith

I am Kara Smith and I have been a part of educating children within the Austin area since 2000.

Throughout the years I have learned what strengths that I have been equipped with and how I can effectively use them as part of educating the next generation.


My strengths as an educator are as follows:

Optimism- My optimism directly affects student learning, attitudes, and behaviors by imparting knowledge of how being positive works and through the acquisition of social and emotional skills and strategies and enhanced self-awareness. Children in an optimistic setting are valued for who they are, experience a sense of belonging, and understand others’ feelings and needs, and aids in conflict resolution among their peers and in society.


Courageous- I impart courage within the students’ by embracing academic challenges and helping the students understand that they can be an overcome any obstacle, all they have to do is be brave and try their best.

Creativity- I help the students’ think creatively and strategically for a better understanding to help them understand their strengths and what areas they can improve.


Developer- I believe that this is one of my best strengths. I have a passion to help my students understand their strengths and passion by helping them create a vision of academic success as well as in their life.

Empathetic-Students want and deserve more from their education, a deeper understanding and a richer enjoyment of life, and the ability to connect and build meaningful relationships with others. I enjoy building relationship with my students they will always know that I care because I show that I care. When I touch a students’ heart, I am able to reach their mind and lead them to academic success.

Achievements

Most rewarding has been raising the children.

Minor in Spanish

Major in Applied Science

Built Shoreline Christian School's Athletic Department

Built Summit Christian Academy Athletic Department

Lead numerous teams to first place Championships in basketball, soccer and flag football

My hobbies are;

playing competitive women's kickball, golf, basketball and racquetball.

Maria Del Carmen Torres (Bilingual Special Education Teacher Assistant)

Strengths:
Includer
Achiever
Developer
Learner
Responsibility




Maria Torres is an energetic bilingual teacher assistant who never stop learning and never will!

I received the opportunity 3 years ago to be part of the AISD team and even better to be part of the Hart family and to complete my "good luck" I was called to be part of the Special Education team. I loved this idea because I had the opportunity to embrace two things that I really love: my desire of helping people and my background in the medical field.

Even though I have the English barrier, I love to learn. Back to school I was granted with two scholarships and I am member of Phi Beta Kappa Society. Those awards helped me to realize that I could keep moving forward and get a higher level of education in this country. Mrs. Torres' journey hasn’t finish here, you will see more, educational background added to her life …....background history to be continued!


The strength that best describe me is Includer. I love; love-helping people and I do not want anyone to be left out. I have used my Includer's skills all the time while taking my students to "regular" classes. Responsibility is the other strength that if you know me really well you know that this is my motto. Developer is my other strength which I really enjoy since I can see other’s potentials. I develop my strengths as a developer every time I work with my students. When "others" say they "can’t" I prove to them that "yes, they can". As an Achiever you will see me working all the time, even when things are done I may have the need of going back and reviewing them. Meanwhile being a Learner is what brought me all the way here!


I do what I love, and I love what I do!

Achievements

Love and Smile all the time!
Take one day at a time and love helping others!
Registered Medical Assistant
Part of the Dean List
Phi Theta Kappa honor society

Vivian Velasquez Mosquera (Special Education Teacher Assistant)

Mrs. Velazquez is a teacher assistant who enjoys this new position as an educator; her major in mechanical engineering helped her to be part of the AISD team. Since then, she has been doing an amazing job as a special education teacher assistant. In 2013 she got a certificate as a paraprofessional that helps her to get more involved within the educational field and it was back then when she started to work for the AISD as a substitute. It was while working as a substitute when she got the opportunity to be involved in a life skills class, right there she fall in love with the special need students. Her loves and desire to keep moving forward is what drives and motivates her to pursue her goals of becoming a certified teacher.

Mrs. V, as her students call her, is a really enthusiastic and outgoing person. She describes herself as a very determined and positive person. She likes to accomplish an assigned tasked that are given to her as soon as possible. She doesn’t like to slack off, and is always hoping to improve her English skills every day.

Achievement

Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering