Dedicated Program Specialist

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Ms. Wilcox, SPED Department chairperson.

By Sebastian Lafond , Staff Writer

Miami High consists of many different types of students, all of whom are able to get much needed assistance they need for a better learning experience. Ms. Wilcox, Special Education department program (SPED) specialist, is in charge of providing students with special needs this assistance. She is the most caring person, especially when it comes to the ability for a student to learn.

The teacher

Ms. Wilcox used to be a teacher before becoming the SPED department director. She first wanted to become a teacher because of the difficulties her younger brother had in school due to ADHD.

She attended Nova Southeastern University where she earned two Master’s degrees in Special Education and Education Law. She was in graduate school as long as someone with a doctorate degree!

Her teaching career actually began in Rochester, New York. When she first taught here at Miami Senior High, Ms. Wilcox taught Algebra. Ms. Wilcox really enjoys helping students, says it gives her “A warm and fuzzy feeling.”

Life before being a teacher

Ms. Wilcox was born and raised in Rochester. One of the most vivid memories of her childhood was going to Las Vegas with her grandparents. Before being a teacher, Ms. Wilcox had a lot of experience with other jobs including: cashier at Home Depot, pretzel maker at Auntie Anne’s, and bartender and waitress at Roadhouse Grill.

She had experience with children from a young age by being responsible for her sibling. Being a teacher was something that she decided she wanted to do on her own, since there really wasn’t anyone in that field that she looked up to.

SPED department program

Her position as SPED Department Program Specialist was given to her when she was promoted by our principal Mr. Valdes. Her job is linked to federal funding to the school, so there is a lot of paperwork to be done.

Ms. Wilcox says that part of her job has to do with “Creating the legal documents that determine the educational plan for students with special needs.” The SPED program helps promote inclusiveness and insure the educational services and access to an equal education. This is a huge deal for the special needs students and the school itself.

Other interests and family

When her workday ends at Miami Senior High School, Ms. Wilcox remains busy. She has been working at an afterschool center called Leadership Learning Center for more than ten years. She continues to work there because she loves the Little Havana community where it exists and what the center contributes to the community.

“Being a mother,” she says, “is the most rewarding part of life,” and Ms. Wilcox is the mother of two boys. The oldest is in his second year at the University of Florida and the youngest is currently a sophomore here at Miami High. She is very close with both.

 

Fun facts about Ms. Wilcox 

– Favorite food: Mexican food 

Favorite color: Amber 

Favorite movie: Pulp fiction

Favorite football team: Buffalo Bills