Archive for Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Daughter’s diagnosis leads to career change

November 22, 2006

Transition specialist Mark Scott may have pulled off one of the most arduous transitions of all when he left the corporate world of ConAgra to pursue a master's degree in special education.

"I was a manager in sales and marketing and traveling a lot, and when my daughter was diagnosed with mild to moderate cerebral palsy, I began going to these meetings," Scott said. "I felt pulled towards education."

Transition helps students with disabilities prepare for a seamless passage from childhood to adulthood in various practical aspects of life.

Scott started his second career 13 years ago with the Leavenworth County Special Education Cooperative when the field of transition was just beginning. He later worked in Texas for several years and returned to the co-op as a transition specialist this fall.

Scott works with each student's individual education plan team, which also includes family members, teachers, staff and administrators, to prepare the student for the transition to enhanced independence.

"We're really making a change from behaving primarily as a student to taking on more adult roles," Scott said.

Although he works at several schools across the county, he spends most of the week with students at Lansing High School and Lansing Middle School.

The best part of Scott's job, he said, is when families, students and the support team are all on the same page.

"That's what we love because when family, school and community start working together, we see that student just excel," he said.

Scott and his wife, LouAnn, live in Leavenworth with daughter Harriet, 12, and son Malcolm, 10. Their daughter Rachel, 24, attends college.

When he's not teaching, Scott enjoys playing tennis, collecting sports memorabilia and volunteering.

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