(new picture - coming soon)
Mrs.Natalie Tanner, Ms. Sarah Soltz
Mrs. Lisa Garand
The Pupil Services Team plays a vital role at Duffy. Our task is to consider referrals to special education, establish the need for an evaluation, decide which evaluations will be given, and determine whether the student is eligible for special education services.
Pupil Services members are also interventionists for general education students under the purview of the Student Success Team (SST), which oversees the SRBI tiered process at Duffy. Pupil Services members functioning as interventionists could include, but are not limited to the School Psychologist, Social Worker, Special Education Teacher, Speech Pathologist, Occupational Therapist, Physical Therapist, and Special Education Paraprofessionals.
Duffy OT (part-time) Cheryl Ekenbarger
Hi, my name is Natalie Tanner and I am excited to be the school psychologist at Duffy. I am originally from New York but have worked in the Stamford and Wilton school districts prior to joining West Hartford in the Spring of 2012. I love my job and working with students and families. In my spare time I enjoy doing yoga, zumba, learning to play tennis, and spending time with friends and family.
You might ask, what exactly does a school psychologist do? Well here are some examples of my responsibilities:
- Counseling students who have IEP's (Individualized Education Plans)
- Counseling students who do NOT have IEP's but are going through challenges (with parent permission first, unless in the case of a crisis)
- Consulting with teachers on behavior plans, problem-solving, etc.
- Evaluating students to determine eligibilty for special education services as part of the PPT (Planning and Placement Team)
- Consulting with families to address concerns that might affect children in school
- Collaborating with the Student Success Team (SST) to coordinate tiered services for students through the SRBI model (Standardized Research Based Interventions)
- Working on Character Education and safe school climate initiatives
- Co-chair of the PBIS team (positive behavior intervention supports) and member of the safe school climate committee.
This is just a sample of my description but every day is a new and different adventure! I enjoy going into classrooms, being out at recess, and just generally traveling the school so that I am very visible and accessible. My goal is to make school a comfortable, safe, and successful place for all students.
Hello and welcome to Duffy! My name is Lisa Garand and I am the full time Special Education Resource Teacher. I have been at Duffy since 2002 but before that I was at Bugbee Elementary. Overall, I have been teaching in West Hartford since 1999. Before West Hartford, I worked in a few different settings; a self-contained classroom, a pre-K through 2 Resource Room, a Birth to Three program and tutoring teenage parents.
I became a Special Education Teacher after getting my master’s degree in Special Education from St. Joseph’s University in 1996. I hold two bachelor degrees in Psychology and Communication Disorder. I have known for a long time that I wanted to work with children, and I found my “home” working with the special education population at the elementary level.
I work with students who have reading, writing, and math needs in a variety of ways. I provide both in and out of the classroom supports, paraprofessional assistance when needed, as well as individualized instruction and/or alternate homework.
Duffys’ Pupil Services Team of Occupational Therapists, Psychologists, Speech Pathologists, Social Workers, teachers and district specialists all work closely to support students holistically through their academic and behavioral needs by engaging in frequent communication and collaboration.
Fortunately, I get to work with many children at Duffy not just the students who are identified as having a learning difference through assessments, but those who need remedial services through the Student Success Team (SST) process. I work hard to get to know your child completely and believe that establishing a rapport to be the most critical aspect to helping students grow within a healthy trusting relationship.
I look forward to meeting each of you, should the need arise. I can be reached via email or phone message. Do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concern.
Hi! My name is Ashley Kalosieh and I am the new Speech and Language Pathologist at Duffy Elementary School. This is my second year in the West Hartford Public Schools. Prior to that, I worked in the Farmington Public Schools at two different elementary schools for 9 years, in private practice for 2 years, and an elementary school in New Jersey for 4 years. This is my 16th year as an SLP and so I bring with me many years of experience in how to best meet students’ communication needs.
In addition to holding a master’s degree in communication sciences and disorders, I also hold a bachelor's degree in elementary/special education and human development. This eclectic education provided me with a solid foundation for how to best identify and provide treatment for children with special needs. Most recently, I earned a certificate in Animal Assisted Therapy, which I hope to apply at Duffy with those select students who may need animal assisted interactions with therapy dogs to facilitate their communication goals.
Please contact me with any questions or concerns you may have! I look forward to joining the Duffy community!