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Message from The Director of Nexus at Mead

Dear Mead Community,

It is with great excitement that I embark in my role of the Director of Nexus at Mead! I am truly honored to accept this new role and I look forward to becoming part of the Mead School family. I bring with me years of education, experience and an abiding love of learning and brain research. I also bring a strong ethical commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion, a commitment to caregivers as team members, a commitment to staff innovation, growth and well-being, as well as a commitment to being part of and giving back to the community we are in. I have begun joining with faculty as we collaborate to create a program for twice exceptional students truly integrated into a school whose five tenets: knowledge of self, developmental process, respect for all, progressive education and supportive environment, already exist to support differentiated learning, creativity and self-esteem. The Mead School values and supports deep social emotional learning, respect, a love of curiosity and innovation at its core, making it a perfect home to Nexus.

This is my 22nd year as a special educator. I spent my first five years out of university teaching in an ABA school for students with autism. For the next 14 years I moved into a truly remarkable parent child program, The Therapeutic Nursery (currently known as The Springboard School), a nationally recognized program for children with a variety of developmental challenges, in Tenafly, NJ. It was here that I co-authored a book on how to directly teach social skills, play skills, and behavioral and emotional regulation.

The Therapeutic Nursery and the team there will always have my heart as it became the foundation driving my passion to raise the expectations for my students beyond a label and giving me the knowledge to support them as successful learners. I believe a collaborative team, which includes parents/guardians, is crucial to this education. Only working together can twice exceptional students reach beyond their potential taking enormous pride in themselves and in their strengths.

My most recent position was Director of the PALS program at Carmel Academy in Greenwich. Before Carmel Academy closed in June, the PALS program existed as an integrated program within a typical K-8 school. Through this experience I was able to see how a more fluid approach to inclusion could work and this allowed me to enter into deep conversations at Mead as to what the next step in inclusion could be!

What evolved as this next step is Nexus at Mead, a truly exceptional inclusion program for truly exceptional students. The Mead philosophy, embedded within a 50-year-old school and founded on the principles of progressive education, is an extraordinary home for this revolutionary label-less inclusion program to exist. Nexus at Mead eliminates labels and isolation which continue to exist around twice exceptional students and instead differentiates and supports in a way that allows all students at Mead to reach ridiculous heights and dive deep into strengths and passions. Students are able to spend meaningful amounts of time in STEAM labs and immersed in the arts, outside in nature or playing sports and discovering, perhaps for the first time, that school doesn’t automatically equal boredom and remediation. School becomes a place that is relevant and exciting as well as fun and inclusive. What Nexus does for Mead is elevate all students to a higher level, enhancing existing differentiation.

In addition to all that the Mead School has to offer, Nexus at Mead offers Speech and Occupational therapies, an Orton-Gillingham literacy specialist, support of executive function challenges, a multi- sensory approach to learning in addition to the direct teaching of social skills and emotional regulation. On site therapists also allow current students at Mead to take advantage of Occupational Therapy and Speech Therapy in school instead of having to go to a private office after school. I hope you take the time to explore the new Nexus website page!

The passion and excitement I have for Nexus at Mead is extraordinary. There is no other place except for Mead that can hold, connect and continuously evolve the vision of Nexus. The Mead School has set itself apart from all other schools. It is a place for innovation and project-based learning promoting faculty and students who are confident and in love with engaging life. Nexus at Mead joins to support twice exceptional students in doing the same.

I cannot wait to get to know all of you. I am always available to you, the community, to talk, learn and serve however I can. Please never hesitate to reach out to me at lisa_corner@meadschool.org.

Warmly,

Lisa Corner

Director of Nexus at Mead