Jo Lee, Early Childhood Coordinator
My dad always advised “find a job that feels like play.” (He’s a rancher.) So I did! I’ve been “playing” in ESU 16 early childhood for over 30 years and loved every minute of it. I have an undergraduate degree from UNL in early childhood and early childhood special education, and a master’s degree from Vanderbilt University in special education. Along the way I’ve picked up endorsements in behavior, resource, early childhood special education, and early childhood. I’ve also had a ton of training in autism spectrum disorders and serve on the ESU 16 Autism Team.
Denise Brauer, Early Childhood Special Educator
Believe it or not - I have been with ESU 16 over 30 years! This has been my one and only teaching position. I graduated from Kearney State College in Fall of 1987 and started with ESU 16 in August 1988. When I first started teaching at ESU 16, I had the 5-8 year old class at the Special Services Center. My job has evolved over the years wearing several hats - Resource Teacher, SPED Consultant, Speech/Language Assistant, to my passion - Early Childhood Special Education Teacher. I love working with families, day care providers, preschool teachers and of course, babies, toddlers, and preschoolers! I have a love for pre-literacy with children and making books come alive for children.
Becky Burke, Early Childhood Speech-Language Pathologist
I graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with both my Bachelor of Science and Master of Science Degrees. I have worked with ESU 16 for 28 years and counting! All of those years I have been involved in some way with preschool aged children. After the first five years, I transitioned from part school-age to full-time early childhood/preschool and that is where my heart lies. My heart is full when I can hear “Ms. Becky!!” from outside, even before walking into the house or the minute I walk into the classroom. I also love the collaboration aspect of working with other team members to help speech/language skills that are integrated with other developmental areas of need.
Emily Johnson, Early Childhood Speech-Language Pathologist
As the most recent addition to the early childhood team, I have been a Speech Language Pathologist for over eight years. I have worked with children in a variety of settings that include outpatient pediatric clinics, non profit agencies, early intervention and preschool. My passion is for early language development, feeding therapy and motor speech disorders. I love to see children thrive in their homes and communities. I received my undergraduate degree from Penn State University and my masters from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania.
Angie McBride, Early Childhood Speech-Language Pathologist
I have been an SLP with ESU 16 for 15 years! Time flies when you are having fun! I received my undergraduate degree at University of Nebraska Lincoln and then my Masters from California State University Northridge. I have worked with school age children all 15 years and have added working with preschoolers more recently 3 years ago. I love kids and helping them learn to communicate so they can share their wants, needs, thoughts and interests in a way others can understand them!
April Wilson, Early Development Network Services Coordinator
I’m a prime example of “things happen for a reason”. I do have a college degree but, ironically, it isn’t for early childhood. Life took an unexpected turn that has led me to being a services coordinator for 15 years now. I have attended all of the mandatory trainings and workshops required and others (too many to count) on a plethora of topics where I have gained a lot of knowledge about resources and child development. It is never a dull moment and I’m usually doing something different every day. I take a lot of pride in helping the families I work with; I have learned a lot from them and the providers I work with as well. After all of these years, if I have made a difference in someone's life, that is all I can ask.
Kaelyn Klaasmeyer, Early Development Services Coordinator
In 2018 I received my bachelors degree in Child, Youth, and Family Studies at the University of Nebraska Lincoln. I have been with ESU 16 for a little over a year now.
Jenny Reichman, Occupational Therapist
I have been an Occupational Therapist on the Early Childhood team for 22 years. I completed my undergraduate studies at Chadron State College and graduated from Creighton University with my Bachelor’s of Occupational Therapy degree. I have worked in the ESU 16 area since graduating from college. I love helping children develop their fine motor skills and always strive to build their confidence.
Cassie Jarzynka, Occupational Therapist
Almost 11 years ago, I began working as an Occupational Therapist with ESU 16 after graduating from Creighton University with my Clinical Doctorate in Occupational Therapy. I completed my undergraduate coursework at Chadron State College (my first experience “out west” after growing up in eastern Nebraska). I have a passion for environmental setup and accessibility and helping kids be as independent as they can in their daily endeavors.
Jennie Dyer, Physical Therapist
I completed my undergraduate degree at Doane and received my Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from UNMC. As a parent of a child with different abilities, I have seen firsthand the impact the early childhood team can have on the lives of children and their families. I am excited to collaborate with parents and the early childhood team to help the natural development of movement and give children a strong foundation in gross motor skills.