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Sochan’s Passion for Special Education Remains After 20-plus Years

After more than 20 years of teaching at Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES, Special Education Teacher Kim Sochan has seen it all. The highs and the lows. The frustrations and the successes. But throughout it all, she has maintained her unwavering passion for teaching her students.


Sochan began her journey at BOCES in the fall of 1998 and was placed at Auburn High School in the 8:1 classroom. She would go on to spend the next 22 years teaching 8:1 and 12:1 classes in Auburn. However, the program was then moved to Union Springs High School, a welcome change for Sochan.


“I really liked Auburn, but Union Springs is my hometown,” she said. “I was very excited to move back to my hometown and be at the school I graduated from. Plus, my kids were here, and one is still in school here.”


Sochan said one of the keys to teaching is to continue to evolve and work new technologies and opportunities into the classroom. Teaching has changed quite a bit since 1998, and according to Sochan, it’s important for teachers to change and adapt as well.


“We’re working on getting our curriculum into Buzz so that kids can work online and in workbooks. It’s a combination now,” she said. “BOCES is just so supportive with this. Any support we need, we get it. It’s one of the reasons I’ve stayed here. With any training we need, we’re always supported.”


Sochan, who always envisioned a career in teaching, developed a passion for special education through different life experiences. Looking back, Sochan wouldn’t change a thing about her career path.


“These kids need compassion. They need to know that they belong,” she said. “Our goal is to take these students as ninth graders, get them to graduation, and then see them succeed after graduation. And when we have those graduates come back as guest speakers and talk to the current students about how important school was to them… that’s what it’s all about. That’s when I know this is where I belong.”


Sochan also credited her BOCES “family” for always working well together and supporting each other whenever needed.


“It’s a family here. I truly believe that. Everyone listens to one another, and we solve problems together,” she said.


When Sochan isn’t in the classroom teaching, she enjoys camping, hiking and boating with her family and friends, and enjoys large family gatherings during the holidays. Sochan and her husband also have four kids who keep them busy.