Centrally Speaking

Special Education Department

As special education teachers, we work very closely with the Area Education Agency (AEA) to support students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs). 

We have some new faces on our AEA core team this year. Jamie Farniok is our new School Psychologist and Alycia Hopp is our new Speech-Language Pathologist. Karen Davis and Jennie Adkins continue to support Occupational Therapy needs, and Lindsey Long continues to be our School Social Worker. Janet Hurt serves as our Physical Therapist. 

Central Lee is very fortunate to have these AEA members working to serve our students. They support special education students by providing accommodations and modifications as directed by each IEP. Many districts see high turnover rates with their associates; however, Central Lee has retained many valuable team members over the years. In fact, the following associates have worked at Central Lee for 10+ years: Tammy Krehbiel, Brooke Kempker, Rhonda Taube, Kathy Schulte, Kristy Wagner, Jenny Peterson, Coette Gida, and Wendy Buford. 

We hope all of our valued associates can reach this milestone and remain at Central Lee for years to come!

Elementary Special Education

We have many new students at the elementary school this year. It is always heartwarming to see how our students embrace them as if they have always been part of our Central Lee family. We teach our students to be accepting of diversity, and that’s evident every day in the interactions we see in our classrooms. We are so fortunate to have such caring students!

We are excited to be able to participate in Special Olympics Iowa competitions again this year. We just wrapped up our bowling season, and we’ll be on to basketball in December. This spring, we will participate in the spring games, which include some track and field events. We also look forward to hosting our annual Young Athlete Play Day in the spring.

Middle School Special Education

This year is flying by! We have enjoyed getting to know our sixth graders and look forward to growing our relationship with them over these middle school years! It was great to see our seventh and eighth graders come back in the fall, and we are continuing to build on the connections we have already made with them. The familiarity of walking in and knowing a student's strengths, quirks, and what works and what does not helps to build success. 

New this year to our district and our shared classroom are designated leadership roles.  Current roles include: “I can” statement reader, who reads the purpose for the class period; Errand Runner; Room Keeper, who makes sure the room is tidy at the end of the period; Daily Bulletin reader; and Office Assistant, who passes out or collects papers and/or needed supplies. These roles rotate every two weeks and the students are really enjoying them! These roles are helping build accountability, responsibility, and speaking skills. 

We have also been enjoying having Atari, our school’s therapy dog, visit our classroom.  As you can imagine, Errand Runner has been a favorite role, as it consists of going to get Atari and then walking her back to Mrs. Wells at the end of the period. Reading the Daily Bulletin is near the top of the favorites list, as well. 

We are also thankful for more normalcy this school year and once again being able to partner with our preschool for Reading Buddies. Seventh and eighth graders in our sixth-hour strategies class are able to practice their “soft skills” (people and communication skills) in a fun way by reading books aloud to younger students.  

We hope you have a wonderful holiday season and are blessed with good health!

High School Special Education

As we are in the middle of our first semester for the 2021-22 school year, we are really starting to see our ninth-grade students’ true personalities shine through. This is one of the biggest groups of ninth-grade special education students we have seen in some time. 

Our veteran 12th grade students are realizing how right we were that high school goes by in a blink of an eye. They are working to make final decisions about what the world holds for them beyond the walls of Central Lee. Working with students’ families remains an important part of the special education process, and we appreciate the attendance at our high school parent-teacher conferences. 

We would like to thank our high school associate team of Wendy Buford, Stephanie Banks, Cara Ferris, Ashley Welch, Teneal Doty, Kayla Haigh, Stephanie Vorwaldt and Lori Boyer.

Enjoy your holiday season!