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ALUMNI INTERVIEW WITH JENNI SHAW

How long were you at The Craig School?
Two years –for 7th (2007-08) and 8th grade (2008-09)

Tell us in your words why your time spent at The Craig School was so beneficial to
You?

Prior to enrolling in The Craig School, I was a sixth grade student reading on a second grade level. Aside from myself, the only person that was disturbed by this was my mother. The educators and evaluators I had been exposed to felt less work was best in an attempt to reduce my frustration caused by not being able to independently complete my work assignments. Despite a medical diagnosis of dyslexia, my needs were not met and there was not a clear plan.

At The Craig School, there were not excuses made and modifications to assignments. I didn’t need to pretend to understand assignments nor did I need to overcompensate for my disability. The teachers understood my needs and were able to teach to my needs by being flexible with their curriculum.
It is important to understand, the teachers at The Craig school did not “fix” me. I am and will always be dyslexic. However, they were able to teach to my needs and show me how the appropriate compensations would become beneficial to my education.

Can you give us a brief history of your schooling after you left Craig?

After graduating 8th grade, I reentered the public school system as a high school student. I was classified as I had been since 2nd grade, however I was able to advocate for myself and I took an active role in developing an IEP that suited my needs. I knew what worked and what didn’t work. Of greatest importance, I had confidence in myself and my abilities.

Mountain Lakes High School class of 2013

  • Integrated back into public high school, successfully completing honors and AP courses and a graduating member of the national honor society.
  • Marist College class of 2017
  • Majored in education with a focus on special education, graduating with a Bachelor of Science
  • Undergraduate Degree, CumLaude
  • Currently enrolled in the Educational Psychology Masters Program at Marist College and will finish and graduate May of 2018

Describe a skill that you learned at Craig?

  • Self advocacy
  • Assistive technology
  • Decoding skills
  • Self confidence
  • The realization I was as smart and in many cases smarter than the average student that was my peer.

What advice would you give our inquiring parents about why a school like Craig can help their student?
Seriously worth looking into. Small class size, well trained educators and customized curriculum
Offers an opportunity to educate to the specific needs of the child.

How do you feel about your current time at Craig now that you are working and helping students that were in your position?

I have a unique understanding because I had been there. I have walked in the shoes of the student that feels useless and frustrated. I have been the student that no one understood.

Now I am in a position to make a difference in that struggling student’s life.

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