Special Education Services
Dyami Seehorn is a 19-year-old student in our schools. He has been published in the Everett Herald. He wants to work in journalism or something related to sports in the future. He likes to hang out with his friends in his spare time.
This is the first in a series of staff interviews that Dyami will complete. Thanks for helping our community get to know our staff, Dyami!
By Dyami Seehorn
What’s your name and what position do you hold in the district?
“My name is Lara Cole and I’m the Executive Director of Student Services for the Monroe School District.”
What do you do on a daily basis?
“There is a lot of variety in what my day looks like. I attend a lot of meetings with teachers and parents to help with their students’ Individual Education Planss. I do a lot of trainings with different teacher groups across the district. I do some paperwork which is maybe not my favorite part of the job but, it’s an important part. I do other things like overseeing the budget, hiring people and evaluating teachers. So it’s a nice balance of getting out to the schools and the oversight kind of work.”
What are the best parts of your job?
“One thing I love about this job is that no two days are ever the same. One of the best parts of my job is hiring teachers. I think one thing you can do to leave a legacy is through the people you’ve hired. While I have been here I have hired exceptional people and they do exceptional work with kids. Another best part of my job is when we are really creative and we can work together with teachers and families to come up with solutions. It’s hard, but it’s a great part of my job. I like getting teachers the materials and training they need and seeing them get excited about it; giving them the tools they need so they can do their jobs well. I like going into classrooms, too. When I get to come and work directly with kids that’s one of my favorite parts of the job, like doing this interview with you.”
How long have you been in this position?
“This is my eighth year in the Monroe School District.”
Do you have to go to college to get this job?
“I did have to go to college to do this job. I went to a community college in Wenatchee for the first two years. Then I went to Central Washington University and finished my Bachelor’s degree in teaching. I was a teacher for the first part of my career and I taught kids of all different ages, and adults, and then I went back to Central. I got my Master’s degree which is what you need to be a principal or a Program Administrator. I became a Principal for a little while and then a District Office Administrator in Special Education. Now I’m enrolled in a PhD program to continue to build my expertise, so I’ve gone to school a lot to do my job.”
What interested you to apply for this job?
“It was similar to what I was doing in my previous school district but also different because this position has oversight of more programs and I like the size of the district and the community. I came from a really big district. It was huge and in order for me to talk to all the teachers I would have to have the same meeting three times with three different groups of teachers because there were so many that there was just no way to get them all together. I like working in a smaller district because I get to know people who work with me directly, and I get to know the families and students. That’s been the best part of working in Monroe; there are fewer layers and my staff can get to know me.”
Do you have to work weekends and in the summer?
“I do. I work on the weekends sometimes, I work in the evenings sometimes and I work during the summer. So what a lot of people don’t know is that we do have vacation days, but we don’t take the whole summer off. We still work during the summer to keep moving forward for the following year. During the summer, we are still hiring teachers and working on the budget and things like that.”
How do you like working with kids?
“I think if you were going to look back on life and say, what were the best things that I did, I think that it would be working with all kids and growing teachers. I think those are noble things to do. It’s not just a job. Helping to grow people is the kind of work that I do, and I also grow myself. My teachers and the students we work with also grow me as a person. So I think teaching and working in public schools is more than a job. It’s a calling and a very important thing to do.”
Thank you Lara Cole for that insightful interview.
Monroe Public Schools
200 East Fremont
Monroe, WA 98272
Voice: 360-804-2600 - FAX: 360-804-2569
Lara Cole, Executive Director
Mary Myers, Assistant Director for Health Services
Kristie Barr, Teacher on Special Assignment
Val Rummel, Lead Secretary
Heidi Dalton, Secretary