Meet Ms. Ouimet: K-1 Academic Dean and K-3 Math Specialist

Something fun I truly enjoy is building strong relationships with students and connecting with them once they have left my classroom/school. I believe that keeping that on-going open communication is supportive to the success of students and LOVE hearing of former students overcoming specific barriers, achieving milestones, and just the general cool things on their journeys. This picture is of myself and a former student who popped into my office one day to surprise me and tell me about his new accomplishments and ask for advice on job applications. It was an absolute joy to be one of his references.

Something fun I truly enjoy is building strong relationships with students and connecting with them once they have left my classroom/school. I believe that keeping that on-going open communication is supportive to the success of students and LOVE hearing of former students overcoming specific barriers, achieving milestones, and just the general cool things on their journeys. This picture is of myself and a former student who popped into my office one day to surprise me and tell me about his new accomplishments and ask for advice on job applications. It was an absolute joy to be one of his references.

Ms. Ouimet grew up in Berkley, Massachusetts. She lived in Berkley until she was 14 years old. At this time, her dad received a job transfer to Chicago, Illinois and her entire family relocated there. She went to high school at St. Francis College Prep in Wheaton, Illinois. She then attended St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa. She earned an undergrad degree in Elementary Education with an endorsement in reading.

After graduation, Ms. Ouimet’s entire family moved back to the Massachusetts area. She worked as a preschool teacher for three years and then took a kindergarten teaching job at Lincoln School in Providence. During this time, she earned a Master’s Degree in Special Education from Lesley University in Cambridge. Ms. Ouimet was looking for specific areas of special education and chose to relocate back to Davenport, Iowa to pursue a career in emotional and behavioral supports. She taught as a K-5 sub separate teaching for students with behavioral disorders for two years. She then worked as a Crisis Interventionist for a middle school program for students with behavioral disorders. During that time, she earned a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and Special Education Leadership. Ms. Ouimet then took a job as a School Administrative Manager at an elementary school. After doing that for two years, Ms. Ouimet realized that she missed being in the classroom and chose to return to teaching. She worked as a High School Transition Specialist and taught all subjects in a alternate school for students who were expelled from their normally assigned public school.

Why did you choose the Alma team?

I had been on the lookout for a job in the Massachusetts area. My mom, dad, sister, brother and soon-to-be niece are in this area and I felt a strong desire to relocate and be within a close proximity to family. I felt very passionate and dedicated to the work I was doing in Davenport and was waiting for a job that called my name and made leaving my work in Davenport “worth it.” Alma was that job for me. My mom is actually the one who found the job description and sent it to me right away. One of the components that stuck out for me was Alma’s search for someone who had “infectious joy” and was willing to go above and beyond. These are two things I strive for on a daily basis. Once I started visiting the school, meeting the Alma staff, understanding the Crew Code, mission statement, etc, I saw a clear vision of myself growing and developing here at Alma Del Mar.

What do you hope to contribute to Alma?

I absolutely love working with scholars and forming strong relationships that have a positive impact on scholar growth and achievement. I have an extensive background in the areas of Trauma Informed Care, Youth Mental Health First Aid, and Responsive Classroom Techniques. I would like to contribute different aspects of these resources, model relationship building skills, demonstrate compassionate conversations and build scholars up to feel successful and motivated to learn.

What is your top goal during your first year with Alma?

My top goal for my first year at Alma is to create the most effective relationship with my directs and provide the most appropriate and meaningful support to them and their scholars.

What teacher made a difference in your life — how?

I had many influential teachers throughout my academic career. In particular, my 5th grade teacher, Ms. Hadley, was the teacher that sparked my love for learning. When I think back on all my favorite books, my favorite science experiments, my favorite history lessons, my favorite field trips; all of those experiences were part of my 5th grade year. Why? Because Ms. Hadley found a way to making learning engaging. She captivated her classroom and used a hands-on approach that was especially helpful to my “off task” and excitable nature. She is the reason I wanted to become a teacher. She is also the one who made me realize that I had a world full of potentials just waiting to be met. For the first time, I felt like an accomplished student and carried that with me for years to follow.

Why did you become involved in education?

Since a young age, I knew I wanted to be an educator. I was always hosting a session of “school” in my basement at home, making sure the neighborhood kids knew the rules we had to follow, loved to laugh and play, and always wanted to encourage and lend a helping hand. I was a struggling student myself and needed extra support in the areas of reading comprehension and organization. Because of my own challenges, I have a passion for advocating for students and helping student eliminate or climb over specific barriers that prevent him/her from reaching their fullest potentials.

Where did you go to college? What did you like about your college?

I attended St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa. It was the perfect school for me and I feel so thankful to have had the opportunity to earn my degree from such a wonderful school. I loved the small classroom sizes and the feeling that each teacher new my strengths, areas of improvement and professional goals. In addition, St. Ambrose had a fantastic learning disability program that offered support for my struggles with reading comprehension which really helped to bridge my achievement gap.

What is your favorite book?

My favorite book is The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah.

What is your favorite place?

My favorite place is White Horse Beach in Plymouth, MA during low tide at sunset.

Posted in Alma Profiles, Meet Our Crew

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