Paul is a Certified Special Education teacher who has provided educational consulting, and executive function coaching to middle and high school students for over ten years.
Let's get to know him a little better...
1) You've been doing a lot of traveling and visiting of programs over the past few months - has one or two of them hit you as amazing? If so, which one and why?
I have done a lot of traveling! It is one of my favorite activities since it is important to get out and see the schools. I pride myself on being a witness not just a researcher. I have been to 150 schools and programs over the last two years. The most joy I receive is seeing students learning and achieving in different environments.
There were a few times that I was amazed by schools and usually it was when I had a hardhat on while touring boarding schools.
for Girls has completely redone their main building for better physical access. The faculty's work
on their Women in Science and Engineering Program really stood out as an innovative way to teach young women. WISE
Forman School has also been doing some renovations and their brand new
Visual and Performing Arts Center shows an energized commitment to the Arts! Performing Arts Center
Construction isn't always bad - usually it is a sign of growth.
2) What is your Favorite part of being an Executive Functioning Skills Specialist?
I've been doing Executive Functioning Skills training for almost a decade now. I've seen the term be transformed into main stream culture and an increased awareness to the building of a student Executive Functions.
The best part of being Executive Functions Specialist is when a family comes and sits in my office and tells me they do not need me anymore. It means that the student is well on their way to independence, which is the ultimate goal.
3) What are you looking forward to about coming to the DC area (personally and professionally)?
Professionally: I have been wanting a change of scenery for a long time now. I have spent my entire life in New York and Connecticut. When I decided that being an educational consultant was an appropriate career switch for me; I looked at switching cities and found Independent School Options. Here I am.
Personally: I am a live music, theater, and sports fan. I try to go to as many events as possible and Washington DC is a good place for all of those activities. I really enjoy new places and, right now, every place is new, which makes everything that much more exciting!
4) What did you like most about being a special education teacher?
Working with the students was always my favorite part of being a special education teacher. I enjoyed teaching and will always consider myself a teacher, no matter where I go and what I do. Now, I just teach a little differently and in various locations. Each group of students was different, which kept my classroom very lively!
On a personal side note, I always took pleasure in putting doubt in students minds when a snow storm was on its way, especially if there was no doubt there was going to be a snow-day coming. "Do your homework, kids."
5) Can you share your greatest success story working with students?
I've been in the education world for so long now that success comes in many different forms. I keep a file of positive notes that students and parents have said to me over years. I look at it when I need a boost. Whenever I reach a moniker of success, it is directly related to the students and families I have worked with in the past. They mold and motivate me into the person I am today. Every time I grow and succeed, even in the slightest, it is because of my time spent working with this amazing student population.