Positive Behavior is Not a Dream...It's a Plan!
A superstar teacher at Los Alisos is Reggie Snyder. She is undeniably our resident technology guru and so much more. She has worked at Los Alisos since 2011, after short stints at Hutchinson and Los Coyotes Middle Schools. While in college, she was as an AVID tutor in High School.
Ms. Snyder's contributions to LAMS and to NLMUSD are impressive. She describes her job In her own words: "My main teaching assignment is to teach Project Lead The Way: Design and Modeling, a course to teach the design process, sketching skills, dimensioning skills, and 3D prototyping skills; also, Project Lead The Way: Automation and Robotics which is a course to teach the fundamentals of mechanical gears, electrical inputs and outputs, and robotic programming; and Video Production which is a course to teach the basics of video composition, editing, and publishing. I am also the coach for our VEX competitive robotics team, where students compete to build robots and play against other teams from other school on annual challenges. Additionally, I am am member of the Los Alisos Robotics Society advisor’s board, which is a consortium of all the robotics extra-curricular activities (I am joined on this board by Kelly Katayama-Johnson, Angelica Gunderson, and Colleen Tokashiki). I also serve on the site’s Common Core Leadership team, MTSS Academic team, AVID Site Team, and PLC Site Team as the Technology Integration Lead. At the district level, I serve on the Technology Action Team as a middle school representative where I provide input on technology integration strategies district wide. Over the summer, I assist the 6th grade team with iPad distribution and student/parent training and I also present several sessions at the annual Blended Learning Summit (the 2020 initiative summer training sessions)."
When asked what she finds most rewarding about her job, she responds, "My students are the reason I work so hard at my job because it is worth every second of planning to see them smile and have fun while learning and conquering something that they thought would be overwhelming."
5. What do you find the most challenging?
The most challenging part of my job is balancing my work and my home life. I enjoy what I do so much, that I often spend a little too much time in front of the computer crafting lessons than spending time with my family. Every year is a new struggle to learn where the balance is so that I can enjoy both parts of my life equally. Oh, and my commute: I live in Chino, so the daily drive (an hour each way) is often an emotional roller coaster….especially when I’m hungry!
6. What do you do in your spare time?
What is “spare time” you speak of? Just kidding! I spend a lot of my spare time working with other teachers to try out new techniques or organize conference presentations. For example, Kelly Baker and I wrote the self-paced professional development model “Tech Trek” and have presentation at both state and international conferences. When I’m doing work related extra curricular I really enjoy sewing, crafting, shopping, watching movies, and spending time with my close friends and family. My husband and I are currently working toward making our house “smart” with various automated systems and sensors that we can (ideally) control with our phones.
Technology Education Teacher
Google Certified Educator, Level 1
PLTW Master Teacher
No serious PBIS Newsletter at Los Alisos would be complete without featuring our School Counselor Sandy Van Lant, our reigning queen of positivity. Sandy started at Los Alisos in December 2003, after completing her Masters of Science in School Counseling at California State University, Long Beach in August, 2003.
When she first got married, Sandy worked as a secretary for Bechtel Power Corporation, then when her children were born, she did some babysitting and typing jobs from home. Sandy worked as a clerical aid at D.D. Johnston Elementary for two years, then became mom again and stayed at home until her youngest went to school in 1995. Sandy found her passion for working with youths while helping her husband Dave do his job as a a youth pastor while he was going to college and seminary. "We worked for ten years with middle and high school kids. I always loved those kids!" With her own kids gone to college, Sandy proved that it is never too late to pursue a career and her choice was in education, "I worked for Bellflower Unified School District as SDC paraeducator, then at Mayfair High School as Collge/Career Counselor while going to Cerritos College and CSULB. I taught for two years (while getting my masters) at Huntington Beach Unified School District as a Workability Teacher. Then finally came to Los Alisos in 2003. (less than 2 miles from home). AWESOME job for me."
List some of the things you do at LAMS as part of your job description and some of the extra, adjunct duties you perform. I enjoy people - a big factor in loving a job when you talk to people everyday. I talk to parents, teachers, students about school, grades, behavior, life and home issues too. I appreciate our staff caring for the lives of their students and wanting them to get help. Our school referral system to Pacific Clinics allows us to see students and families get real help for deeper issues. It has been awesome to have Michele as Intervention Counselor and Tania as Intervention Teacher, with Paula Mayes - coordinating support for our school on a greater level - YEAH Team!!
I enjoy event and party planning and like the Courtesy Club. It has always been a joy for me to have others enjoy themselves - yes I like peeps to have fun!!!
ASB Advisor is full of life and fun things too. It is fun to see kids get excited about planning events. I meet with ASB Pres and VP each day to get our announcements together and once a week with ASB reps for our ASB meetings. We have great kids in leadership. Sometimes a lot of work, but still worth it when you see students loving it!!!
I also work with our AVID team and plan our field trips to colleges, and help with the recruiting process. Another fun thing I do. Hey, do you see a pattern here - FUN Things everyday. Yes it is difficult and painful to work with some of our kids that are broken and undone, but I feel like I am encouraging, supporting and making a difference in their lives at this critical time of their lives. I feel very blessed to be in this job at this school with such a great staff!
What do you like most about your job?
Alot of things I touched on above: talking to people everyday, planning events for students, staff and ASB/AVID things. Feeling like I am helping people through difficult times in their lives, or giving encouragement and support to those in need. I love talking and giggling with staff members who stop by my office too.
What do you find the most challenging?
Meeting people that have a lot of hurt, brokeness and challenges.
Knowing I can't help everything, but can only do a piece at this time in the life of a student.
Putting together big events like Haunted Halls and Dances (good thing Dreiling is so good at this).
What do you do in your spare time?
We have custody of our 5 year old grandson, so I sometimes feel like I'm starting over in child-rearing, but waaaaay older
We love visiting grandkids in Indiana (daughter has 5 darlings).
We enjoy Lake Michigan with the Indiana group and we love them coming here for beach time, Palm Desert time, and chillin at home time.