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Amanda Love (Lead Co-Teacher)
This year marks Amanda’s fourth summer as a teacher with Summer Buddies. As a sibling of an individual with disabilities, Amanda has long understood the importance of inclusion and community support. Amanda continues to providing respite care for families and adults with disabilities, working on functional life skills, recreation and leisure activities. Amanda also worked as a co-teacher with Vicky at Groovy Girls, a social skills group for pre-teen girls with autism. Amanda graduated with her Bachelor’s in Special Education in 2010, and her Master’s in Early Childhood Special Education in 2011.
Amanda works as a special educator in Montgomery County Public schools as a PEP-INC teacher at Brookhaven Elementary School in the fall. This position allows her to spend part of her time in the classroom, and part of her time working with students and families in their natural environments. Amanda’s unique perspective as a sibling and her warm, gentle teaching style and sibling make her an important asset to the Summer Buddies team.
Amanda loves hockey, and enjoys cheering for the Washington Capitals and attending games when she can! When she does have free time, Amanda loves to do craft projects, work in her garden, and plan for her upcoming wedding!
Vicky Dean (Lead Co-teacher) Vicky began her career with a wide range of experience working with children in various settings as a babysitter and nanny. During her senior year of high school (2005), Vicky worked as an intern at the Montgomery Knolls Preschool Education Program (PEP). From 2006 until 2011 Vicky has worked as a therapeutic play nanny for two families with children with special needs and their siblings and parents. Victoria uses many techniques when working with children including multiple floortime therapy strategies as well as general individualization of child and parent/sibling needs in all areas of home and social life. In 2008 Victoria began working as a teacher for a currently running social skills group “Groovy Girls”, for girls with a range of special needs ages 7-14. Vicky graduated May of 2011 with her Masters Degree, and a dual certification in Early Childhood Special Education and Severe Disabilities from the University of Maryland, College Park. She has had a range of experiences in working with children with and without special needs in various settings including an inclusive pre-k classroom in Prince Georges County, Infant Toddler groups and home visits at the East Montgomery County Infant/Toddler Center, and a yearlong placement in Howard County with the Regional Early Childhood Program (RECC) in a Multiple Intensive Needs Classroom for Early Learners (MINC-EL) classroom, which used a verbal behavior, errorless learning strategy with children ages 3-6 with autism spectrum disorders. In the fall of 2011 Vicky will begin teaching in the PEP-Comprehensive program at Jackson Road Elementary School. Victoria Started working with Summer Buddies in its inception in 2004. She started out as a volunteer and quickly progressed the next summer to the volunteer coordinator, finding and organizing volunteers and scheduling with all of the volunteers for three summers. For our 2008 summer session Victoria took on the role of Volunteer Director/Program Assistant in which she trained and assisted a volunteer coordinator with working with the high school volunteers but also began to use her experience and skills to teach and plan more within our sessions. Vicky is now one of the summer buddies co-teachers. Her responsibilities include planning for each session and implementing the activities and lessons in the schedule. She leads each session with our co-teacher Amanda Love while providing the children with as much natural and facilitated play and social skills practice as possible. Vicky also continues to provide learning opportunities for our volunteers in the way of coaching them to help facilitate the play and social skills we learn in the program. Vicky is excited to be co-teaching for the first time this summer and looks forward to more summers to come!
Summer Buddies Inc.
A Summer Full of Fun & Friends!
Angela Nance (Co-Founder/Director)
I first became interested in working with children with disabilities at the age of 17. I started working with a 6 year old boy with autism doing applied behavior analysis therapy in a home based program. Throughout college I worked with several families, providing ABA therapy, supporting students in their general education classrooms and working to generalize their skills in their own community. With my background as a swimming instructor at the Silver Spring YMCA I also taught students to swim combining general swim instruction with my background in ABA.
In 2005 I completed my Bachelors of Science in Special Education with an emphasis on severe disabilities. In that first year of grad school I had been working with children with and without disabilities as a temporary Nanny for White House Nannies. I also had the honor of participating as lead teacher in Friendship Club a weekly children’s play club started by the parent of one of her former students. I planned for and facilitated a small group of children with severe disabilities working towards shared engagement and fostering friendships within the group.
From 2005-2010 I has taught kindergarten through third grade students in the in the Learning for Independence (LFI) program in Montgomery County Public Schools. Along with teaching and co-founding Summer Buddies with Sarah Lubin, in 2007 I completed my Masters of Education in Elementary Special Education with an emphasis on severe disabilities. I currently teach Pre-K in the Pre-school Education Program (PEP) in Montgomery County Public Schools. My students are adorable and fun 3-5 years old.
I'm interested in eventually becoming an advocate to support students and build effective inclusive classrooms in and around Montgomery County. I hope to incorporate that type of service into the future of Summer Buddies My hope for Summer Buddies is that we are able to provide the specific tools that individual families in our community need to enhance their overall quality of life!!
Sarah Lubin (Co-Founder/Director)
Sarah Lubin also became interested in working with children with special needs as a teenager, after traveling to Grenada to volunteer at an orphanage. After she returned, she began tutoring children with autism, and then spent her summers as a teaching assistant at The Children’s Institute in New Jersey, a school for children with developmental disabilities. These powerful volunteer experiences have served as a foundation for training and coaching adolescent and college-aged volunteers and interns each summer.
As a student at the University of Maryland, Sarah spent three years as a volunteer tutor for Project Northstar, a tutoring program in D.C. that works with children in homeless shelters and public housing. Sarah has received Bachelors degrees in Early Childhood Special Education and Hearing and Speech Sciences, and won the award for Outstanding Leadership and Service to the Department of Special Education at the University of Maryland. She completed her Masters degree in 2006 in Early Childhood Special Education, with citations in Advocates for Children and Severe Disabilities.
Sarah worked for five years at DIR Support Services, now the Floortime Center, in Bethesda, running a social group for preschoolers with developmental and learning challenges, and providing home based therapy and consultation using a Floortime approach. Following this position, she moved into the non-profit sector, as an Autism Waiver Service Coordinator at The Arc of Prince George's County. Currently, she works as a special educator in the Infants & Toddlers Program for Prince George's County Public Schools.