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Improving Inclusion Practices in Schools with the Inclusive Educator - Bre Gastaldi
My granddaughter, Emma, struggled from the very beginning of elementary school. Pullout services for reading and math were set up and were minimally effective, so I started asking about transferring Emma to a different program. Finally an IEP meeting was arranged for her 5 th grade year, it was there I met Ms. Gastaldi. We worked out a detailed plan that included both social skills as well as academics; Emma joined in the meeting. Bre paid careful attention to Emma and showed her around the classroom. One of Emma’s main diagnoses is Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). I gave Bre a book detailing FASD, it’s characteristics and helpful tips for the classroom. Bre read the book and implemented some of the ideas. With Bre’s teaching skills, Emma blossomed both academically and socially. Bre was patient with both Emma and I as we learned our way around special education. Emma made amazing progress with Bre’s direction and went on to 6th grade well prepared. I am forever grateful to Bre for the support she offered to me and the chance she provided for Emma to succeed. Today Emma is a junior in High School. She’s happy, working hard, and has a 3.7 gpa!
I have known Bre long before both our current careers as educators. She has always been passionate about improving the lives and educational outcomes of her students with disabilities. Throughout my tenure as a general education teacher, I often consulted with Bre about how I could better meet the needs of my students who required different supports in my classroom. She always listened carefully to my concerns, had creative ideas for problem solving, and provided me with resources when I needed them. This was particularly true within the realm of inclusion. Now, as an Assistant Principal, I still regularly consult with Bre and I value her thoughtful and practical advice. Her advice is always clear and specific, which has supported me in creating systems of support for my students and teachers. Bre is a wealth of knowledge and has a deep passion for supporting outcomes for all students, especially those with special needs.
Bre and I have worked for many years together in various capacities. Bre is not only passionate about helping students reach their highest potential, but also her colleagues and team members. As our classroom case manager, she ensured the paraprofessionals were well versed with the latest teaching strategies. To this day I still lean on the valuable resources that she has given us. Over the years, I have observed in admiration as Bre continued to pursue her passion for special education. Her commitment to promoting inclusionary practices have always been evident, through all the years I have known her. She is a forward-thinking problem solver and does exceptional work with collaborating and exploring more ways to support every person to reach self-actualization. I have watched her lead the way in Inclusionary Practices!
Bre has always been a passionate advocate for inclusion practices. Her commitment to support differently-abled individuals is evident to anyone working with her. Bre is a natural leader in this field and effortlessly navigates this sometimes sensitive subject with everyone she works with. She is a role model for everyone in the field; teachers, therapists, students, parents and more. Bre will always follow through with what's "right" even when situations become uncomfortable. I highly recommend The Inclusive Educator to support your inclusive goals!
Bre is a values-driven leader. She has challenged our team with out-of-the-box thinking to provide more equitable practices for all students. While working with Bre, she is not afraid to tackle courageous conversations, and brings joy, passion, and inspiration wherever she goes.
My relationship with Bre as it concerns helping families with unique kids and school issues, is a very long one. My third son is on the Autism Spectrum. One of the places Bre stepped in for us was to be a support attendee at my son's IEP meetings. She was able to negotiate on my son's behalf, knowing what types of accommodations he needed because she knew him so well. This ALL led to my son's success and ultimate graduation. Bre is highly intelligent, she sees through the fodder, and is the most tenacious person I know. She fights for her kids, she helps parents and she coaches and trains teachers and counsellors. I can't say enough positive things about her.