NES Has New Faces

New BCBA program brings in new teachers.

Kaleigh Sobenzenski working in a safety   
care meeting on a recent day at Triton. Staffier Photos

Staffier photo

Kaleigh Sobenzenski working in a safety care meeting on a recent day at Triton. Staffier Photos

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At Newbury Elementary School, in a small classroom with two tables and chairs, you will find one of the new board certified behavior analyst  (BCBA) teachers, Mrs. Kaleigh Sobenzenski.

Sobenzenski is happy about her new role. 

“I was interested in shifting back with a younger population,” said Sobenzenski in a recent interview. “I have a strong passion for kids with autism and the role here at NES. There is a special program for kids with ASD. So that is kind of what drew me to this role.” 

NES’s new board certified behavior analyst program has started bringing in new teachers to the district. Sobenzenski is one of the new teachers to this important program. After working for five years in a different school district with individuals between the ages of 12-22, she wanted to make a change. 

As part of an effort to integrate students with autism to stay in the classroom to avoid problems, Sobenzenski goes into classrooms so students feel more comfortable. She works with the students and staff to address classroom problems, such as issues with behavior or controlling attention, so that everyone is secure in their spot. Some classroom problems could be students become agitated or aggressive. She would come in and support the teacher with whatever they need. While collecting data on the students behavior and writes up a behavior plan.

As a teacher, Sobenzenski’s goal is to make sure that every kid is comfortable in the classroom,and that this new BCBA programs grows.

 “My goals for the program at NES would be for there to be consistency between the 3 ASD classrooms to help support a smoother transition for students moving from Kindergarten to first grade, and from 3rd grade to 4th grade.”Said Sobenzski.

As a teacher, Sobenzenski goes from classroom to classroom. She works with students in kindergarten through grade 6 if there is a problem with one of her students with autism. She addresses individual situations in the classroom, talking through the problem with both the teacher and the student. She also talks to them about how to prevent the problem from coming up again.

Kids who have autism have challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication say Autism Speaks. Autism affects 1 of 59 people in the USA today. The BCBA program is here to help those children with their disability adapted to other environments.

A graduate from James Madison University takes on a big role at NES she is surrounded by other teachers that support and help her through this journey. 

Her mentor,Elizabeth Marcolini, had plenty of nice things about her.”She is easy to work with and the children respond to her in a positive way.” said Marcolini. Sobenzenski has been having a great start to her year with a new job. With a closer commute, she has been working with other teachers to make this program develop better.

One of Sobenzenski’s co-workers Caitlin Goodwin had even more positive things to say about her. ‘She is very supportive and knowledgeable when it comes to promoting adaptive behaviors in the classroom,” said Goodwin. “She frequently observes staff and students working together” 

NES new program just got a new face to the program. With Sobenzeskie doing what she loves, she will help this program into something even bigger.