A bit about April...
A US citizen, but a resident of Switzerland since 2013, I have experienced first-hand the struggles of expat families who have children with disabilities when relocating. These include the lack of homogeneous special education terminology, admissions personnel who don't understand students with disabilities, and even denial of appropriate placement. As a result, children struggle more than they should during their transition, often losing skills and becoming frustrated.
The good news is that these problems can be overcome with the right level of preparation! I pride myself in being able to quickly engage with a family, assess the situation, evaluate the destination location, provide relevant knowledge about the special education system, and interpret special education documents using language that both sides understand.
I bring all of this knowledge and experience to the relationship I create with a family to address individual needs and concerns.
Originally from Iowa, I grew up in a family of five. Both of my parents are music teachers and my daily life was filled with listening to and playing jazz and classical music.
My brother struggled with severe ADHD and I volunteered in the classroom for students with multiple physical disabilities from the 3rd grade. Both of these experiences sent me down my professional path starting in 1994.
At the ripe old age of 24, my husband and I embarked on our first experience abroad in Paris. It whet our appetite for living the expat life and knew we wanted to raise our future children in a similar environment.
Fast-forward 13 years and we moved our family of three to Switzerland and are reaping the benefits of raising a Third Culture Kid. It would be a lie to say it has always been easy, but it has been an extremely enriching and rewarding experience.
At Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, I double majored in Elementary Education and Special Education and graduated in 1998. I then went on to complete a Master's program in Exceptional Education at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2003. I have taught in the public, private and international school environments since 1998.
I now serve on the board of SENIA-Europe and work to bring the message of inclusive education to European international schools.
In my free time I love to hike, cook, and play clarinet in our local concert band.