Diverse Backgrounds Join Special Education Department


Sarah Naughten, Sports Editor

With vacancies in the Special Education Department due to 1 staff member taking leave due to illness, another taking maternity leave, and a 3rd transferring to a different campus, Daivana Roach, Juliana Scatterly, and Aaron Peterson have each stepped in to fill the void.

While most teachers take on a new roster of students each year, Special Education teachers often work with their students over the course of a high school career, developing a special relationship that allows them to offer effective support.

Lauren Epperson was disappointed when she returned for the new school year to find that her previous teacher was no longer available to her. “I would say it is hard to adjust because you are with those teachers for 3 years then all of a sudden they aren’t there and you can’t really do anything about it,” said Epperson.

While students may miss the connection they had with a previous instructor, those new to the staff bring a wealth of qualifications and important life experiences.

Scatterly, a Brazilian native, transitioned from Burton Valley Elementary’s special education department to join Campolindo.

At the age of 18, Scatterly immigrated to the United States where she attended Spalding University on a full-ride scholarship. 

Prior to becoming a special education teacher, Scatterly also worked in a law firm, where she primarily worked with clients who had been exposed to asbestos, mineral fibers that have been known to cause cancer. “It was really nice getting the check to be able to send to those people that were exposed and were damaged,” said Scatterly. 

Roach has joined the department after beginning her career as a special education teacher at Rheem Elementary School in the 2018-2019 school year.

Prior to becoming a special education teacher, Roach worked as a lawyer at a small law firm in San Francisco. “It was super stressful and the deadlines were ridiculously short periods of time where stuff had to get done, and I always felt overwhelmed, and I always felt behind, so it was hard for me,” said Roach.  

Scatterly and Roach were inspired to take on Special Education careers, in part, due to their children.  Each has a child with special needs.

Peterson is a 2-year veteran of Special Education in Richmond and Oakland.

So far, Peterson has noticed that his new campus “is very academically challenging and has very high expectations for the students.”

“I see the levels of stress and anxiety that people take on here as well,” said Peterson.