It's often tough to gather interviews from award recipients because invariably they don't want the spotlight solely on them. As we highlight each of the five Compass Award recipients from the Muskego-Norway School district, the highest honor given to staff for their ability to inspire and impact their peers and student, we start with Special Education teacher Jenn Gennerman, who had declined a personal interview.
The special education program includes occupational therapy services, focusing on development of fine motor skills, manipulation of tools, self care, sensory awareness/processing, visual motor and visual perceptual skills and written language. These areas can be addressed through a variety of intervention strategies to assist the student in being as independent as possible.
In addition, school physical therapy focuses on the child’s ability to move as independently as possible in school. "Interventions" are designed to allows students to travel throughout the school environment, participate in classroom activities, maintain and change positions in the classroom and manage stairs, restrooms, cafeteria and playground.
School therapists in turn collaborate with parents, teachers and other educational staff to help implement a child’s individualized program. Therapy takes place where the child receives education, and intervention can be provided in the classroom.
As for Gennerman, she has served at Bay Lane only a year, but had also worked at Mill Valley Elementary School and Country Meadows Elementary School for an additional five years.
In describing Gennerman's approach to teaching, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Kelly Thompson used the words, "positive, innovative, and creative."
Gennerman uses unconventional techniques in teaching students, including an interesting and effective approach is that has her students learn chants that help them remember math concepts. She also incorporates technology so that students can better access their learning and creates new and interesting ways to engage students so that they are interested in the learning process.
"Being an excellent educator for students is the number one factor in ensuring student success," Thompson said. "The second is creating an environment through strong relationships where students and staff feel welcomed, encouraged to grow, and comfortable to take risks. Jenn takes deliberate effort to build these relationships and is incredibly successful at it."