Kelly Skinner ’12 teaches high school students with disabilities, calling it the “most rewarding job in the world.” This satisfying work started before she even graduated.
Volunteering with the university’s Scholars with Diverse Abilities Program (SDAP) – which provides students with intellectual disabilities access to a two-year college education – Skinner acted as an “Appvocate” for one of the students.
“I spent one hour a week with the student visiting the library, student union, shops on King Street, etc.,” said Skinner, now a teacher at Eugene Ashley High School in Wilmington. Her volunteer work helped the student succeed and, according to Skinner, “enjoy her college experience.”
Skinner’s passion for every type of learner to experience college is what led her to pursue a career in special education.
“I definitely learned various skills from all of the courses from Special Education- Adapted Curriculum that I utilize daily in my own classroom,” Skinner said. In particular, she fondly remembers Dr. Sharon Richter, her adviser who inspired her to be a high school teacher.
“She definitely stood out as the professor who taught me the most, and she cared for all of her students in a special way that allowed her to support us immensely throughout our college career and beyond,” Skinner said of Richter. She added that regular communication with her adviser was part of what brought her to where she is today.
Skinner gives high praise to Appalachian’s staff, commending them for going “the extra mile” and inspiring her to do the same with her students.
“I believe Appalachian can help students be as prepared as possible for the classroom experience.”