• Meet Rashonda Harris, Customer Experience Specialist — US Customer Service Team

    Meet Rashonda Harris, Customer Experience Specialist

    “Making someone’s life easier starts with a smile.”

    Rashonda Harris doesn’t view her customers as “just another voice on the phone”. She sees each interaction as a chance to connect with her customers, discover their needs, and find the best way to help them — all with a smile. In her opinion, “When you’re the first person a customer speaks to, you’re the ‘face’ of the company and it’s important to make them feel welcome. A smile is contagious; people can’t help but smile back. Even in a remote environment, people can feel a smile... they can hear it in your voice.” Rashonda is the kind of person you want to work with, bringing excellent customer service, tenacity, courtesy, poise, friendliness, and boundless energy to our clients as well as her teammates.

    With that being said, she brings more than a smile to her role. Focusing on her customers’ satisfaction brings out the best in Rashonda, highlighting her resourcefulness, humility, and perpetual willingness to listen and research in order to find the best possible solution for each of the customers she interacts with. Rashonda brings out the best in other people as well, and never hesitates to put the customer’s needs and feelings before her own.  

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  • Meet Ellen Veazie, Customer Experience Specialist – US customer service team

    Ellen Veazie, Customer Experience Specialist – US customer service team

    The innovator

    Ellen constantly challenges herself and is always learning.

    Ellen was thinking outside the box before thinking outside the box was cool. In her career as a teacher, she was one of three educators in the state of Louisiana who earned an award from the Senator. Through her leadership, Ellen’s students developed a school-based enterprise — the complete business model through marketing and advertising. The coffee shop they “built” gained local fame and was recognized by politicians and other officials who were proud to hold their meetings there to show off what the students had accomplished.

    An avid DIY-er, Ellen knows how great it feels to do things herself. She enjoys planting seeds in her organic garden and watching them grow, then from that harvest, creating a meal. She also turned one of her hobbies into a business on Etsy. Ellen believes in the adage “bloom where you’re planted” and uses that as her guidepost. Every day she strives to do her best, take advantage of opportunities when they come her way, and from those opportunities, continues to bloom.

    The advocate

    Helping you find the best in those you serve.

    After she earned her Master’s in guidance and counseling, Ellen became committed to learning how to use the assessments that could help her identify the needs of her students. She soon realized that without these invaluable tools, it’s not always apparent that an adolescent is struggling with depression or a low self-concept... or not performing to their full potential.

    Today, Ellen gets to enjoy the best of both worlds by assisting customers just like you with discovering the value of assessment. She can relate to what you’re ordering and knows how assessment can help you best serve your students and clients.

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  • Have you registered for Science to Practice?

    by Kristina Breaux, PhD, Senior Research Director

    Kristina Breaux, PhD

    Full disclosure: Yes, I will be presenting at S2P 2021, LDA’s inaugural Science to Practice virtual conference January 21–24, 2021. That being said, even if I weren’t presenting, this event would be on my short list of conferences to attend.

    Here’s why...

    S2P is laser focused on research and practice.

    An entire conference — not just a track — dedicated to LD research and practice! This defined area of focus allows us to go so much deeper into the issues, and as an added bonus, S2P isn’t afraid to address the controversies! As a researcher, I’m so excited to participate in a conference that will address issues from all sides.

    It’s THE who’s who in SLD identification — all together at one conference!

    What other conference allows you to hear from LD experts like H. Lee Swanson and Doug Fuchs? I’ve been in this field for a long time and I’d typically have to attend multiple conferences to have access to all these experts!

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  • Behind the scenes with fellow SLP, Nancy Castilleja

    Nancy Castilleja, SLP

    Nancy, a fellow speech-language pathologist, worked in clinical practice for many years before coming to Pearson. She didn't simply happen upon her career as an SLP. Perhaps like you, Nancy’s interest in following a path to help people with communication disorders was sparked by her experiences with some very special people in her life.

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  • Advocating for At-Risk Students

    by Daniella Maglione, Ed.S., M.S.

    Meet Daniella Maglione, a psychologist (and mother to a son with learning disabilities)

    On any normal day, school was challenging for my ​6th grader, who ​was diagnosed with dyslexia and dysgraphia. He exceeded expectations in other subjects, ​but written expression and ​handwriting were always a point of frustration. ​His performance in these areas was a painful contrast to his otherwise strong grades. Over time, his self-esteem became impacted by his desire to strive in all areas and we made the decision to enroll him in a private school. This decision was based on researching the additional support and resources that would be available to aid his performance in the classroom, such as the ability to type and print his assignments versus handwriting them. 

    Things were beginning to stabilize before COVID-19 caused schools closures. Schools were scrambling just to begin classes online, so custom-designed programs for kids with 504 plans couldn’t be easily accommodated. This was very overwhelming for him. As a parent and psychologist, I knew that I had to look for other options and turned to the National Institute for Learning Development (NILD), which has a tool to identify local therapists for providing ​services that address his areas of need and, in this case, even virtually. 

    The additional support has been instrumental for my son to continue his progress, but the reality is that not everyone is able to secure private help ​for a variety of reasons. In fact, I know others who have sought help, only to get stuck in circuitous paths because of limited, even misguided, direction. It is imperative to understand your student’s rights so that you can be empowered to support them. Turn to resources from organizations like the NILD and International Dyslexia Association (IDA) to explore their services, such as lessons on how best to work with your child or to take advantage of state-run programs.

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  • Dealing with internalizing issues

    Lanterns for Mental Health Awareness

    Supporting a path forward with strategies that work for anxiety and depression

    Explore strategies to help support school-aged students and families while learning at either home or school.

    Many of you have parents and caregivers reaching out for ways to support their students with the potential internalizing issues of anxiety and depression. We’ve assembled some helpful tip sheets focused on dealing with and supporting anxiety and depression in PreK–12 students. Additional insight from Kimberly J. Vannest, PhD will help you provide the guidance families and caregivers may need right now.  

    What to look for and how to help  

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  • How one Wisconsin school district fought increasing student anxiety… and won!

    Illustration of six people arm in arm

    "Committed to community. Committed to children. Committed to excellence.”

    For Waunakee School District teachers and administrators, this isn’t merely a slogan. It’s a promise, and they intend to keep it.

    Waunakee, an affluent, semi-rural town in South-central Wisconsin, is an idyllic place for its 13,000+ residents to call home. Boasting an active social and economic community, higher-than-average median household income, and an excellent, yet challenging, education system — Waunakee clearly takes care of its own.

    In 2018, the county performed the Dane County Youth Assessment and a crisis was consequently uncovered. When compared to the 2015 results of the same assessment, it became clear that anxiety and depression rates across the county were increasing, with 63% of its students reporting “pressure to perform in school” as their greatest concern.

    Traditionally, behavioral health screening doesn’t typically identify mental health concerns related to academic stress, and their results aren’t available until mid-year, but Waunakee administrators knew that this timeline simply wouldn’t do. School officials knew they needed to work quickly to find and implement a solution.

    How did administrators in Waunakee support their students?

    They call it “the sizzle”. Read the case study to find out what it is!

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