Going the extra mile - Adriana Ordonez
January 2020 recipient
We have heard on multiple occasions from students and parents here at board meetings and at campuses about the power of our increased dyslexia identification and instruction in our schools. This GEM recipient is one of those key staff members in that process, Adriana Ordonez, dyslexia therapist. Adriana was nominated as a GEM by parent and fellow educator Rene Bennett for all the support that she provided when Rene’s child was going through the testing process for dyslexia. Adriana took an abundant amount of time to reach out, to listen, to explain and to provide support during what can be a complicated and sometimes stressful process. Her kindness, empathy and skill made all the difference.
According to Rene, Adriana impacted her son’s educational journey in such a positive way, and she is thrilled that he has now started the Take Flight dyslexia program at his campus.
According to Beaver Technology Center principal Vicki DeVantier, Adriana is always well-prepared, calm and clear in her communication. Meetings about academic struggles and testing can be very emotional. Explaining test scores, why a student may or may not have qualified, and plans for support are critical conversations, and Adriana knows how to lead them with care and alleviate those feelings that those around the table may experience in the process. Mom/dad guilt is a real thing, and Adriana is consistently strong and compassionate when things are difficult.
Adriana also assists the campus counselor with 504s, because of her experience and confidence with explaining the details of testing and scoring. And because Adriana is bilingual, so he is also able to work directly with Spanish speaking parents, instead of using an interpreter. While Adriana is only at each of her campuses for a couple of hours per day, her impact is truly 24-7.
Marcy Eisenger, assistant director for the dyslexia program, shared that Adriana also takes a lead role on the districtwide dyslexia team. She mentors other dyslexia teachers, she presents at parent workshops, and does supplemental training for teachers. And she comes to everything with a positive can-do attitude. GISD is so fortunate to have someone with Adriana’s skill and experience working with our students and parents as this program continues to expand.