Our Team New

Special Education Team

 
 
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sara hawkinson, head of school

Sara holds a master’s degree and a California teaching credential in Special Education (Moderate to Severe Disabilities) along with an Orthopedically Impaired Added Authorization from San Francisco State University. Sara participated in the University California Deaf-Blind Services Partnership Program and the Autism Spectrum Endorsement Program at SFSU. Sara happily joined the Avalon team in 2008.

 
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lizz Schoelen, director of education

Lizz holds a master’s degree and a California teaching credential in Special Education (Moderate to Severe Disabilities) along with an Orthopedically Impaired Added Authorization from San Francisco State University. Lizzie participated in the University California Deaf-Blind Services Partnership Program and the Autism Spectrum Endorsement Program at SFSU. Prior to joining the Avalon team in 2008, Lizzie worked with children, teenagers and adults impacted by autism and intellectual disabilities for 9 years. Lizz has a special interest in multi-sensory teaching approaches and integrating music (and events!) into curriculum. Lizz joined Avalon in 2008.

 
 

karla alcantar, director of transitional services

Karla holds a master’s degree and California teaching credential in Physical and Health Impairments from San Francisco State University. She has over 10 years of experience working with children with special needs. Prior to working at Avalon, Karla worked as an AAC/AT special day class teacher and Orthopedically Impaired Specialist. From 2009-2011, she served as a special education Peace Corps volunteer for the Ministry of Education in Grenada where she developed special education needs programs in primary schools and provided training for teachers and administrators serving students with special needs. Karla joined Avalon in 2014.

 
 

claire pohle, special education teacher

Claire holds a M.A. in Special Education and a Preliminary Education Specialist Instruction Credential: Moderate/Severe Disabilities from San Francisco State University. During her graduate coursework, she completed the Deafblind Specialization Program in which she specialized in the education of learners with sensory disabilities and deafblindness. Claire joined the Avalon team in 2016 as an instructional assistant, and joined the teaching team in 2018.

The Avalon Academy