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Johanna is very excited to join the Compass family this year! Prior to moving to New York last summer, Johanna was a school psychologist in South Florida, Michigan, Illinois, and Montreal. Over the years, Johanna has gained a great deal of experience working with students of diverse cultural background, and in grades K-12. She has been an integral member of the multidisciplinary student support teams, and has been responsible for conducting psycho- educational assessments identifying students who struggle academically, emotionally, and behaviorally. In addition to working collaboratively with school personnel to ensure that mandated services listed on IEP’s are being provided, she also lead Child Study Team Meetings, Response to Intervention and Data Analysis meetings, as well as CSE meetings, conducted Functional Behavior Assessments, and developed Behavior Intervention Plans. Johanna believes that each student possesses a unique learning style and that it’s important for educators to recognize that each child’s giftedness is packaged differently.
Johanna lives in Long Island, and enjoys reading, and spending time with her family.
Dana was born and raised in Long Island, NY. After growing up in the family restaurant business, she then joined the SUNY University at Buffalo family, in the School of Management. However, after one year in the school, she found her passion in Occupational Therapy and graduated with a Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy. Dana’s advanced studies included a concentration in pediatrics, an advanced certificate in assistive technology and a minor in HR Management. Out of school, Dana worked for 4 years at NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases while simultaneously working in various public and private schools. Shortly after working in private schools and agencies, Dana started New York City Occupational Therapy Services. With experience in Applied Behavioral Interventions, DIR Floortime, Evidence-Based Methodologies, and more, Dana realized the benefit of various methodologies and treating each student as an individual to help them to achieve their best. This is Dana’s 3rd year with the Compass Family and enjoys being a part of the future in her community. Dana is a local resident in Brooklyn, but loves traveling whenever she can. If you see her taking pictures in Prospect Park, dining at a neighborhood restaurant or zipping around on her scooter, be sure to say hi
Anna Larson Von Meuhlen
Anna started teaching on The St. Lawrence River in high school, running n a nautical summer program with the goal of getting kids on the water. At St. Lawrence University Anna completed an undergraduate degree in Psychology, rowed crew, spent a semester in Kenya, and started a campus-wide reuse initiative. While in college Anna co-founded a sailing program geared towards local elementary school kids without regular access to the water. After college she taught 3rd grade in Baton Rouge, Louisiana as a Teach for America corps member where she became passionate about reaching all students and frustrated by educational inequity. Anna came to NYC to pursue a master’s degree in childhood general and special education at Bank Street College. While in graduate school, Anna worked at Gillen Brewer, a private school for children with speech and language disabilities. Following graduate school Anna joined the staff at the Children’s Storefront, a tuition-free independent school in East Harlem. Having started as a classroom teacher at Compass for it’s first two years, Anna has loved watching Compass grow as a school and community and is excited about her new role as a learning specialist.
Anna believes in learning by doing, connecting with nature, and asking lots of questions. She thinks little people have important opinions, loud voices, and can make important changes in our world. Her classrooms have always been built on teamwork, trying new things, exploring, and caring for the environment and each other. Anna travels mostly by bicycle, has a worm compost bin in her kitchen, and is loving being a mama to her new little one, Shep, born in February 2016.
Lila may be more excited for school to start again this year than the kids! This will be Lila’s 6th year teaching in New York. After 4 years in the classroom, Lila wanted to specifically focus on special education and supportive strategies to help students, teachers, families, and the community as a whole. She spent some time as a learning support coordinator at a previous school but after one year, missed teaching and learning with children all day.
In a role as a Learning Specialist for a second year at Compass, Lila is eager to extend student relationships, support the Compass community in every way she can, and to have a blast along the way. As an advocate for students who often feel excluded from their peers in educational settings, Compass’s approach to inclusive progressive education has been unbelievably inclusive, supportive, joyful, and thoughtful of all kinds of various wants and needs in our diverse world.
As the founding Learning Support Coordinator at Compass, Elizabeth oversees the special education program and has developed a response to intervention program to support the needs of students who require additional academic or behavioral support. Elizabeth also provides coaching to teachers to support inclusive teaching practices. Prior to joining the Compass team, Elizabeth spent five years as the Learning Support Coordinator at an elementary school in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Elizabeth is certified in Wilson Reading System and is trained in many literacy interventions. She has led staff development sessions about using reading assessments and interventions to support struggling readers. Elizabeth enjoys working with families and supporting parents in advocating for the rights of their children with special needs. She received a B.S. in Inclusive Elementary and Special Education and a B.A. in English and Textual Studies from Syracuse University and a M.S.Ed. in Reading/Writing/Literacy from the University of Pennsylvania.