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Ms. Kelly Beard - Project Find Coordinator

Ms. Kelly is in her fifth year at the Early Childhood Center as the Project Find Coordinator, although she has spent many years in Special Education. Her background is in Speech and Language Pathology, working with children and adults over a 25-year career, and is now loving her role as an Early Interventionist. "I've been given the greatest joy imaginable, to work with the Birth-3 population while partnering alongside parents, as we collectively build a foundation for learning...the greatest joys really do start early."

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Ms. Trish Schoch - Early Intervention Special Education Teacher

Ms. Trish has worked as the Early Intervention Special Education teacher for 5 years. She had taught at the Early Childhood Center for 11 years and has been teaching in Birmingham Public Schools for 19 years. She is a graduate of Western Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Special Education and as early childhood endorsement. Ms. Trish has also earned a Master of Arts degree in Teaching with a focus in reading. "I love that as an early childhood educator, I have the amazing opportunity to be part of the first school experience for children and am able to foster a love for school and learning. I enjoy the awesome opportunity of partnering with parents to ensure that their children are successful in the best learning environment possible."

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Ms. Melanie Ben-Gal - Early Childhood Special Educator

Ms. Mel is in her fifth year at the Early Childhood Center. She is working with students with special needs as a Birmingham Special Services Teacher and has been doing that for the past 16 years. Ms. Mel earned Teaching Certificates to work with children and adults ages 0-26, and holds degrees in Elementary Education, Special Education, and Education Administration. "I fell in love with learning as a child, and wanted to be a teacher - knowing I could always continue to learn, if I was always at school. I often feel like a detective, solving a puzzle, observing minute details, noticing patterns, testing different possibilities. Setting up learning experiences for all, including different learners, building support systems, and watching learners grow, is never-ending education for me, with never-ending rewards."

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Ms. Laura Mills - Early Childhood Special Educator

This is Ms. Laura's third year at the Early Childhood Center. Ms. Laura has a Bachelor's degree from Western University in Elementary Education specializing in Early Child Development and her Master's degree in Autism Spectrum Disorder from Madonna University. She taught as a center based preschool teacher for children with autism at Greenfield Elementary School for 8 years. "I truly love being with children, engaging and building a special relationship with each of them is very important to me. I enjoy collaborating with parents, teachers, and support staf to do whatever a child needs to grow and learn."

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Ms. Mary Mazzara - School Social Worker

Ms. Mary is in her fourth year as the School Social Worker at the Birmingham Early Childhood Center. She has 8 years experience working as a Sociak Worker with young children. Mary has a Bachelor's in Psychology and a Master's in Social Work. "My career allows me to be part of a child's growth and success. When I see a child develop a social skill or regulate and problem solve, I am overwhelmed with pride and excitement for the child's future. I whole-heartedly believe early intervention can change a child's life."

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Ms. Ann Perry - School Psychologist

Ms. Ann has over 22 years experience as a School Psychologist. She is a graduate of the University of Detroit Mercy with a Master's degree and Specialist degree in School Psychology. "I enjoy working collaboratively with teams and families to support all children's ability to learn and develop." 

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Ms. Elaina Bluman - Physical Therapist

Ms. Elaina is in her sixth year working with the Birmingham School District and in her third year at the Early Childhood Center. She has a BA in Psychology from the University of Michigan and BS in Physical Therapy from New York University. She is also trained in neurodevelopment treatment, infant massage and therapeutic listening. Ms. Elaina has worked in pediatrics since 1999, in school districts, birth to three programs and private practices in New York, Wisconsin and Michigan. "I enjoy thinking deeply about each child, discovering what motivates them and discovering what they need in order to unlock their greatest potential."

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Ms. Vicki Marshall - Occupational Therapist

Ms. Vicki has worked with the Birmingham School District for 8 years. This is her fourth year servicing  The Early Intervention Program. Ms. Vicki graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a BS in Occupational Therapy. Wile working with children has always been her passion, she has experience working as a hand therapist primarily with orthopedic elbow, wrist and hand injuries. Ms. Vicki also has worked at an adult day treatment program servicing adolescents and adults with Traumatic Brain Injuries. "It's such a joy to work with families collaboratively and experience children's first development milestones. The earliest years of life are precious. Providing early intervention services helps children improve their chances for success in school and life overall."

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Ms. Mia Kurzawa - Speech and Language Pathologist

Ms. Mia has worked at the Early Childhood Center for 4 years, but has worked in Birmingham Public Schools for 21 years. She supports students ranging from 2 to 26 years old. Since the onset of her career, she elected to specialize in the areas of autism spectrum disorder and augmentative alternative communication systems. Ms. Mia has worked within a variety of service delivery models that have included the classroom, home, small group and clinical settings. Ms. Mia earned a Masters in Arts in Speech-Language Pathology at Wayne State University and is also certified to teach K-8. "Early Intervention is extremely important to me, a true passion of mine. I believe that planting and cultivating honest and secure relationships among students, caregivers and educators is a necessary part in maximizing each student's potential for success. It gives me great joy to have the opportunity to work side-by-side with parents, caregivers, and preschool teachers at this stage of development."

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Ms. Michelle Ward - Speech and Language Pathologist

Ms. Michelle is in her fifth year at the Early Childhood Center. She has been working as a Speech and Language Pathologist for the past 22 years in the Birmingham Public Schools and has serviced the preschool population every year. She received her Bacherlor's degree in Speech and Language Pathology with a minor in Elementary Education and a ZA endorsement from Western Michigan University. Michelle received her Master's degree from Bowling Green State University. "Early childhood is my favorite age group to work with as there is endless potential for growth and development."