I Love Dayton: Stay-at-home mom finds new calling as special ed teacher

I Love Dayton

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A Dayton mom’s commitment to special education is inspiring a career change.

Sherrie Bair, a paraprofessional at Rosa Parks Early Learning Center, recently earned a scholarship to pursue her new goals.

When Bair’s daughter left for college, the stay-at-home mom decided to go back to school herself. She pursued an associate’s degree from Sinclair Community College, planning to teach preschool at a child care center. 

A student teaching assignment with Dayton Public Schools changed her trajectory when she started working with a student with special needs.

“To watch him, in the short period of time that I was there, do things he hadn’t done before and the things they did to help him get there… it was kind of inspiring,” Bair said.

The experience propelled her towards a special education teaching degree. In search of a flexible, online program, Bair enlisted in courses at Western Governor’s University so she could continue working while in school.

In late February, WGU brought a giant check to Bair at Rosa Parks to award her with a $2,000 “Become a Teacher” scholarship. The money will cover 15 percent of costs per term.

Bair said she looks forward to continuing her education and is grateful to find her passion.

“I just really love being here,” she said of Rosa Parks ELC. “I love the kids, I love the challenge of helping them progress from one step to the next.”

Bair plans to continue as a paraprofessional at Rosa Parks until her next student teaching assignment places her elsewhere, but she hopes to return to the school as a full time special education teacher.

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