Originally from Indiana, Jessica earned a Bachelor’s in Science in Special Education and her Master’s of Education in School Administration and Supervision at Indiana State University. In Indiana, Jessica taught students with special needs grades Pre K through 12 in a variety of settings; writing individualized education plans, tracking, writing, and facilitating behavior plans, and differentiating instruction. Jessica also played the role of department chair for her middle school, and served as the committee chair for Positive Behavior Intervention Strategies (PBIS) and Response to Intervention(RTI). She served on a goals committee, which was instrumental in self auditing the Individual Education Plan goals to ensure they were in compliance with the state and government criteria.
After moving to Virginia, Jessica collaboratively taught special education, general education, and then moved into an administrative role in a public middle school. While teaching, Jessica was a mentor to other special education teachers about progress monitoring and data collection. She also served as a consultant to general education teachers about differentiation and trait writing. While an administrator, Jessica was a liaison for Project SEALS. She also was instrumental in initiating the PBIS program at her middle school working to increase positive student/ teacher interaction and decreased office discipline referrals.
Jessica is pursuing her Ph.D in the department of Special Education and Disability Policy at VCU. She intends on focusing her research on the successful application of a tiered intervention system in the conjoined area of academics and social/ emotional behaviors.