We sat down with the Executive Director of Exceptional Student Services (Special Education) for an inside look at who Rebekah Helget really is and why she chose to work in special education.
You’re associated with the Exceptional Student Services Department, but what made you want to enter into the field of education? Why pursue special education?
Over the last few days we have been in administrative retreats and it has made me reflect on why I did enter education. I actually went to school to be a nurse. I worked at a hospital as a CNA, certified nurse’s aide, through college. After about two years in, I had one year left, I knew nursing wasn’t for me. I think it was working with the elderly, teaching them new skills, that I was passionate about. I began a new path in elementary education. I didn’t think that special education was my path at first. I had a principal that knew me growing up that asked if I would be interested in teaching special education. I got my waiver right away. I became a special education teacher and loved it! I wanted to become an expert in every exceptionality because I wanted to be a resource to the teacher. From there, I became very passionate about what I do .
How much do you think your personal goals attribute to your professional success?
I think my passionate and enthusiastic character lends to my professional demeanor. If people are driven and have passion, you will have success. We need to look at kids interests that way.
Who is the most influential person in your life?
My parents. I still, just as much as I did when I was a little girl, look up to them. They have been great spiritual leaders.
What is the wackiest thing that you have done at work?
I like to have fun at work. We like to play practical jokes. We have made a video, dancing to “Happy”.
When you find yourself singing/talking to yourself, what are you singing/talking about?
I make up the words to songs, my children think. I like to sing Disney songs. I find a song in any conversation.
You recently took a trip to Chicago. What was your favorite experience?
We went to the Art Institute. I’ll admit, I’m not a big museum goer. And so, myself, my past superintendent, and a friend did the museum as fast as we could, visiting the most popular art. We beat the rest of the group by about 45 minutes and so we were sitting on the steps outside the building. There were guys out front playing five-gallon buckets [as drums]. And I’m like, wouldn’t that be an awesome experience to play with them? And so, I walked up to them and asked them if I could join them, I wanted to learn to play the drums! I requested the middle seat. They handed me the sticks and I played the bucket drums with them!
Rebekah is a member of the Devin Center Executive Team and works to improve the student experience in Geary County Schools. For future connectED interviews sent directly to you, sign up for this website’s RSS feed.