This month’s Team Spotlight are a group of committed professionals who dedicate themselves to providing education and support to our Moravia Middle School students.
The team is made up of Special Education Teacher Brianna Bollier, Special Education 1:1 Aide Sherri Gallow, and Special Education Teacher Aides Heidi Belles, Brad Hollenbeck, and Melissa Collins.
Lead teacher Brianna Bollier is new to Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES and to New York State, but not to special education. She recently moved to New York from North Carolina where she had worked in a highly structured autism classroom. For her, the transition has been positive with some notable changes. Here, she is working with students who are closer to grade level, offering a stronger academic focus, and facing unique challenges.
“I love it,” Bollier said. “You have to rely on your gut sometimes and reach out to your team, your related service providers and your administrators for guidance,” Bollier said.
The team’s veteran member, Heidi Belles has worked for Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES for 22 years – the last eight years in Moravia Central School District. Over the years, she has seen countless students graduate and move on to successful lives and for her, that is the most rewarding aspect of the job.
"It's a pleasure to work with them and get to know them. And when I see them or get emails from them and hear they are successful in their lives, it is very rewarding," Belles said.
The other members of the team agree that what makes Team Bollier successful is not only their individual talents, but the seamless way they work together. Their easy communication and support for each other are vital in facing the day-to-day challenges of special education. They understand that they are humans working with humans and the key is to listen to their instincts, rely on each other, and collaborate.
While the work can be challenging at times, it is also immensely fulfilling. Every day, they show up, not just to teach but to nurture and support. The team believes that every child has the potential to thrive, and their mission is to unlock that potential.
It isn't just about academics; it is about fostering confidence, independence, and happiness in their students. They know that every day can be different, and every student can present a unique challenge, but together, they are determined to make a positive impact on the lives of those they serve.