Special Education Teacher Helps Students Transition
Mrs. Wynands has taught students with disabilities at BASH for 19 years.
The fact that she herself has a disability gives her a unique perspective that allows her to better relate to her students.
“I understand the struggles the students are going through,” she said.
Mrs. Wynands was born with Cerebral Palsy, and has to walk with a cane for balance and a walker in the halls for safety.
“It affects my legs and walking out through the hallways but, other than that I am fine,” she said.
She is a special education teacher who teaches Transition classes, which help students with learning or physical disabilities be more independent and be more responsible.
Several of the students have aides who help them in each class throughout the day. One of those aides, Mrs. Hope Strouse, works with a student who has autism.
“I think Transition class is an excellent way that students can prepare for life after high school,” Mrs. Strouse said. “They will learn life skills that will stay with them throughout adulthood.”
Mrs. Wynands also advises the ARC (Acceptance Respect Compassion) Club, where students with disabilities have the opportunity to hang out with their non-disabled peers.
“It is a club in which all students, no matter their differences, can come together and have fun,” she said.
One of the students who participates in ARC club, Thomas Griffin, who has a disability called Muscular Dystrophy Duchenne, as known as DMD, said he likes being able to hang out with non-disabled people.
“I enjoy being at the club, but I just wish there was more boys,” he said.
Mrs. Wynands said she loves being able to create these kind of opportunities for students in ARC.
“I really love what I do,” she said. “Also, I enjoy being a special education teacher.”
Outside of school, Mrs. Wynands is married (her husband is from the Netherlands) and has two daughters.
“One of my daughters is going to have her second child,” she said. “I also enjoy being a grandma.”