Special Education


What is Affective Needs (AN)?

Affective Needs classrooms are self-contained classrooms for students with emotional disabilities that provide a strong emphasis on affective education, academics, and social skills programming. Emphasis is on replacing inappropriate behaviors with more socially acceptable ones. They offer a highly structured environment with individualized behavior management strategies and plans exist within these center classrooms.

What is Mild Moderate (MM)?

The Mild Moderate program serves children who have been identified as having mild to moderate special education needs.

Affective Needs Team

wayne gAffective Needs Teacher, Wayne Gerke
Wayne_Gerke@dpsk12.org
http://uparkgerke.weebly.com

What year did you begin teaching?
I started teaching in 1989 in Missouri.

Where did you go to college?
I obtained my undergraduate degree from Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield and my graduate degree from University of Alaska, Fairbanks.

If a school day suddenly got canceled, how would you spend the day?
If school suddenly got canceled I would spend the day doing home improvement projects and researching places to visit.

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
If I could eat only one food for the rest of my life it would be chips!

If you weren’t an educator, what do you think your job would be?
If I weren’t an educator I would be a psychologist or an accountant.

What is something your students might be surprised to know about you?
Students may be surprised to know that during my 20 years in Alaska I lived for two years with the Yup’ik Eskimos in a village called Tuluksak.

What was the last thing that made you laugh out loud?
The last thing that made me laugh out loud. . . and it always does. . . is watching The Big Bang Theory.

marcos_archuletaAffective Needs Paraprofessional, Marcos Archuleta
Marcos_Archuleta@dpsk12.org

What year did you begin teaching?
I began working in Denver Public School since 2009; I worked at Cole Arts and Science Academy working with MI Center based students. I have worked with students with physical and emotional disabilities, Autism, down syndrome, etc.

Where did you go to college?
I attended Colorado Christian University – studied Child Psychology & Philosophy.

If a school day suddenly got canceled, how would you spend the day?
I would roll right over and enjoy the next couple hours of much needed sleep. If I decide to get myself up, I would make a delicious traditional NM style breakfast; Pipitas, eggs, red chili sausage and homemade flour tortillas.  I would work on random art projects that need to get finished, and I would call my family from around the world to catch up on life.

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Being the New Mexican I am, having to choose to eat only one food for the rest of my life, it would have to be Red Pork Chile Tamales!!

If you weren’t an educator, what do you think your job would be?
If I wasn’t an educator, I  would be in the Movie/Theatre business. I like to act for local theatre companies and consider myself a jack of all trades type of guy when it comes to theater.  Acting has opened many doors and opportunities for me such as working with Kids Theatre West, painting of set designs and being a part of many productions as a camera operator and editor.

What is something your students might be surprised to know about you?
It would be that I am an Actor. I have a very quirk, creative personality; however seeing me on stage would definitely be a surprise.

What was the last thing that made you laugh out loud?
The last thing that made me laugh was seeing my niece showing off her newly learned dance moves via Skype. Kaydynce currently lives in Germany and always finds time to Skype her favorite uncle.

cicelyAffective Needs Paraprofessional, Cicely Simpson
Cicely_Simpson@dpsk12.org

What year did you begin teaching?
2001

Where did you go to college?
Metro State College

If a school day suddenly got canceled, how would you spend the day?
ife.

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Mexican.

If you weren’t an educator, what do you think your job would be?
If I wasn’t an educator, I  would be a social worker.

What is something your students might be surprised to know about you?
I sleep in footed pajamas.

What was the last thing that made you laugh out loud?
The students in my class.

Mild Moderate Team

Mild Moderate Teacher, Katie Hendershot

Sam BryneMild Moderate Teacher, Samantha Byrne: Learn more about Samantha Byrne.
SAMANTHA_BYRNE@dpsk12.org

What year did you begin teaching?
 1995

Where did you go to college?
I have my B.A (Hons) from London University, Post Graduate Certificate of Education from Oxford University and my M.Ed from University of Phoenix

What is your favorite thing about University Park Elementary?
The wonderful warm, friendly feeling you get the minute you walk through the door. I can’t wait to get to know the staff and students.

If a school day suddenly got canceled, how would you spend the day?
With my two children and my Labradoodle.

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Watermelon – so fresh and delicious (chocolate would have to come a close second!)

If you were not an educator, what do you think your job would be?
Probably nursing. I did join nursing school, but dropped out at the last minute. Definitely a job helping others.

What is something your students might be surprised to know about you?
I taught Ballet, Tap and Jazz dance for many many years!

What was the last thing that made you laugh out loud?
My crazy Labradoodle “Indy”.  My daughter Emily and I decided to groom him ourselves – not the best idea 🙂

UPark_Elementary10004Mild Moderate Paraprofessional, John Neuhalfen
john_neuhalfen@dpsk12.org

Where did you go to college?
University of Denver.

What is your favorite thing about University Park Elementary?
Parent involvement and support.

If a school day suddenly got canceled, how would you spend the day?
Hanging out watching movies with my kids.

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Sushi.

If you weren’t a Kindergarten Paraprofessional, what do you think your job would be?
Stock broker.

maddisenMild Moderate Paraprofessional, Maddisen Coil
Maddisen_Coil@dpsk12.org

What Year did you begin teaching?
This is my first year in a classroom setting but I have a lot of experience working with kids who have underdeveloped brains. I always say they are the smartest ones in the room, they just don’t know it yet!

Where did you go to school?
I went to Michigan State University!

If a school day suddenly got canceled, how would you spend the day?
If a school day suddenly got cancelled, I would take my dog and go on an adventure!

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Pickles! Yum 🙂

If you weren’t an educator, what do you think your job would be?
I would help rescue animals, and then probably keep them all!

What is something your students might be surprised to know about you?
I loving traveling and I hope to make it to every continent.

What was the last thing that made you laugh out loud?
My dog and kitty playful wrestling in my living room.