For Alyssa L. Hussey ’13, Shenandoah University was the perfect match for her. It had the degree she wanted to pursue, a Master of Science in Education, and was close to her home. Hussey also heard that the university’s programs were very good. After studying at Shenandoah, Hussey feels it is a great university where she received a wonderful education, and that the staff does everything they can to help students learn and succeed.
Hussey says she wouldn’t been where she is today without the help of the faculty at the School of Education & Leadership. While working toward her master’s degree, Hussey studied under former Associate Professor of the School of Education & Leadership Diane Painter. She says Painter “was an amazing advisor and teacher, along with the many others that helped me through my degree.” She also completed the Behavior Analysis Certificate Program under Associate Professor of Psychology Brandon Greene, Ph.D. Both programs have been very beneficial to Hussey’s career and her work within the special education field.
Hussey currently works as a special education teacher for Loudoun County Public Schools at Sanders Corner Elementary School in Ashburn, Virginia. Before working for Loudoun County Public Schools, she was a special education teacher for Clarke County Public Schools for six and a half years at Johnson Williams Middle School and Boyce Elementary School.
After spending the last seven years as a special education teacher, Hussey says it is hard to narrow down her most rewarding experience because working with students in special education is rewarding each and every day. “It seems that each day one or more of my students finds their ‘ah ha’ moment,” explained Hussey. “Those ‘ah ha’ moments for my students are extremely rewarding for themselves as well as for me, knowing that I helped them reach a milestone that was out of reach a short time before. Seeing the looks on my students’ faces and seeing their own excitement about learning something new or improving in an area, is a blessing.”
Hussey’s advice to new special education teachers, or teachers in general is that “You should never, ever give up. It is going to be exhausting and it will push you to new limits, but it will be exhilarating and it will be rewarding when you see the growth in your students.”
Written by Harley Ryan ’16
Assistant Director of Alumni Affairs