CARL JUNCTION, Mo. — We wrap up our list of finalists in the remarkable women contest with an educator from the Carl Junction School District.
Susan Leech, Carl Junction, said, “I’m a paraprofessional for special needs students.”
Something Susan Leech has been doing for more than 20 years.
“Work with them in the special needs classroom, reach a certain academic level, take to general classroom.”
A goal that isn’t always quick or easy.
“They have limitations and we have to help them get past those limitations as best as they can for them to move forward. One of them, when he came to us, was nonverbal. And currently he talks now, be social with the other children.”
Right now she’s working with a couple of students in the Carl Junction K – 1 building, her favorite age group.
And that drive to finding the best way to break through to someone with Downs Syndrome or autism never shuts off.
“Sometimes I lay in bed at night and think I know I can do this with this one person. Challenging yes, but it’s something I love to do.”
Susan sees herself as a caregiver – a role she first took on when her mother passed away when she was just 12.
“You know how everybody has gifts, I just feel like God gave me that gift you know to be there.”
That gift became even more crucial after a health crisis with her husband Bobby.
“2006 he had an accident where a cabinet fell on his head, a marble cabinet, causing traumatic brain injury so he’s permanently disabled.”
He’s had seizures and memory loss.
“It’s really hard to watch someone you love struggle from being – doing for their family to not being able to do at all have trouble remembering where things go, or where they’re at, what he did last.”
But whether she helping out at home, or focusing on her special needs students, Susan likes to focus attention on their efforst.
“To me they’re the remarkable ones. They’ve got all this in there and they just need it to come out and I feel like I just help them to get it out.”
TAMKO Building Products proudly sponsors remarkable women and the initiative to honor the positive impact that women have made in their communities and families.