Kellyandfam

Kelly Cortese

I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies with a Minor in Mathematics from San Diego State University. I worked for a reading intervention program while completing my undergraduate studies. I also taught after-school science enrichment courses designed to make the content fun and engaging for gifted students. I have always enjoyed working with students that do not fit “in the box.”

As I earned my teaching credential, I was lucky to work with students in second, third, and fifth grade classroom settings. I enjoyed working with students at each of the different grade levels.  I spent a lot of time developing my own materials to help both struggling and gifted students during this time. I really began to enjoy putting activities together that helped my kids gain a better understanding of the content we were covering.

I began working for a K-12 homeschool program as an educational consultant after earning my credential and I have been working at the same school for the past 11 years.  Early on, I worked with students of all grade levels and in all subject areas. Working with such a broad spectrum helped me to realize that my favorite area of focus was math. This realization pushed me to earn a Master’s degree in K-8 Math Education at San Diego State University.

During the summers, I worked for several different programs in order to gain additional experience with students in special settings. I have taught English, history, and culture to foreign exchange students. I also worked with gifted learners who were exploring their interests in science.

The flexibility in my workplace allowed me to develop resources and trainings for parent-teachers focused on teaching mathematics in a variety of ways. I really enjoyed working with students of all grade levels, but I found that my strength was working with high school students.  This prompted me to work towards earning supplementary authorizations to teach high school math, science, and history in special settings.  My current job position involves teaching math and history to our independent study high school students and I love creating resources that make the content more accessible for my students since my face time with them is so limited.

My experiences have helped me to understand that education can take a variety of forms and that each learner is different from the next. I believe that educational resources should be flexible so that educators can modify them for their students.

I live in San Diego with my husband, Greg, and our newborn son. When I am not working on developing new resources, I am most likely trying really hard to get a nap.

 

Slide1Diane Abella

After graduating from the University of San Diego in 2001 with a degree in Diversified Liberal Arts, I began teaching at a non-public school for students with learning disabilities and social/emotional disorders.  I taught high school English and math, which were subjects completely out of my comfort zone after having student-taught in first grade.  Mid-year, a teacher was let go and I was asked to take over her middle school (6th/7th) classroom for the remainder of the year.

The following year, I moved to Gaithersburg, Maryland where I taught 3rd grade for two years in a racially and economically diverse public school.

I then moved back to San Diego where I taught 2nd and 3rd grades (looping classroom) for two years in a school with a high population of English Language Learners and economically disadvantaged students.  I earned my Master of Arts in Education from Chapman University with a Reading Certificate.

Following that I moved to Ventura, California, where I was hired by a family to become a private homeschool teacher for an emotionally disturbed 4th grader.

The next year I once again found myself on the move, this time to Orange County, California, where I worked as an ABA (Applied Behavioral Analyst) therapist for children with developmental disorders, such as autism.  I worked in home and school settings and learned a lot about behavior management and coaching parents.

I eventually made the choice to settle down for good in San Diego in 2008, where I landed a job in a charter school as an educational consultant, working with K-12 homeschooled students and their families.  I love my current job because I get to work with kids of all ages and families with different educational philosophies.  In addition to consulting with families, I teach on-site enrichment classes and monitor several online high school courses.

I have a passion for developing curriculum that works for both “in” and “out-of-the-box” learners.  I love working in a personalized learning setting because I realize that one size definitely does not fit all when it comes to education.

I live just outside of San Diego with my husband, Brian, my 15-year old stepson, Brandon, and a crazy 5-year-old lab-mix, Panda.  When I’m not working or developing curriculum, I enjoy reading, writing, baking, and travel.

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