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Shari Duddy – Top Special Ed Teacher in NJ Shari Duddy is a top teacher in New Jersey; she has established herself in the educational world and demonstrated her expertise and skilled teaching through her involvement in the educational process. She has spent nearly three decades in the public school systems in and around the New Jersey area. Her philosophy of education is built on a foundation of support, motivation and achieving success for every learning group. She has worked with students, parents and other educators to help them achieve success in their respective fields and study areas as well as in life endeavors. Shari believes that respect should be shown to all individuals and that standards should be set high. She leads in this arena by example and continues to not only set high standards for her students to achieve, but for herself too. Educational Training and Achievements Ms. Duddy obtained a Master’s Degree of Education in Instruction, Curriculum and Administration from New Jersey’s Kean University. She received a Learning Disabilities Teacher Consultant Certification from New Jersey’s William Paterson University. She also obtained a Supervisory certification and the Principals’ certification from Kean University. Shari gained her knowledge and experience at Columbia University where she became familiar with the Orton-Gillingham teaching method. This program was developed specifically for working with students with different learning disabilities and helps provide them with exhaustive rehabilitative instruction to help them improve in reading, spelling and writing specifically. It focuses on teaching methods that can be adapted and used for specific disabilities like dyslexia. This helped her get her start in teaching and training. Career Highlights Duddy has been teaching in New Jersey public schools for almost 30 years. She started her educational career in a third grade classroom in the South Orange-Maplewood community. For the initial 18 years of her career, she was in the classroom literally pioneering innovative


teaching methods and building models of teaching. She devoted much of her time to breaking down barriers which existed between students in general education and students in special education. One of the highlights of her career has been to be able to break the “norm” of having students divided into these categories for classroom learning. She felt that this focused too much on disabilities rather than the student’s abilities. With the barrier broken, teachers can focus more on using a student’s strengths instead of teaching to their disabilities. She has built her career on a multi-sensory approach to engaging students in learning and in using varying teaching styles. Shari believes that each student possesses the potential to succeed no matter what types of challenges they face. Her professional achievements were recognized and showcased in the 90s when she was featured in “What’s Right in American Education.” She had several articles which detailed the classroom methods and techniques she was pioneering at the time. Focus on Special Education Community Shari is a member of a couple of professional groups and continues to have an impact on the educational community. Two of the groups she is most active in include: •

Coaching Parents for Special Education

Reading Instruction in Special Education

Coaching parents for special education is a group designed to help parents gain an understanding of how a disability affects their child’s learning process. The goal is to help ensure students graduate successfully from high school and possibly college. The group is a perfect environment for Shari to advocate or the children’s rights and share the different resources that are available. Reading Instruction in Special Education is a setting created by a well-rounded group of individuals including parents, students, teachers, administrators and various specialists. These all sit together and share valuable experience and expertise with one another. The focus of this group is reading instruction and how to best develop the student’s reading ability as it is a skill needed throughout their educational career. Focus on Continuing Education for Professionals Even though it might appear Shari Duddy is focused on younger students, she has also been an advocate of continuing education and teacher supervision. She has spent much of her time focused on developing new and innovative methods that help to prepares students to be responsible for their educational endeavors. But she also feels like teachers can take initiative for their continued education as well. Some projects have included the creation of comprehensive teaching programs and she helped implement these from her position as case manager in several school districts. She feels like teachers can provide encouragement and support for student’s learning as they continue their own lifelong learning.


For years Duddy trained and taught educators in “Developmental Reading Assessment.” This program takes an in depth assessment at student’s reading abilities. It is designed such that a teacher can evaluate the reading level of each individual student. Once they assess and monitor a student’s reading level they have a better idea on how to manage educating the student. Along with DRA, Shari also trains educators for a program called, “Foundations.” This program is based on using phonetic principles to teach reading and spelling. And she also works with a referral system, “Child Study Team-Referral Process.” This is a group of educators, administrators and educational psychologists who consider children and refer them to special education services if they deem it beneficial for the student. Out in the Community Shari Duddy doesn’t live in the classroom although her focus has been there for the length of her successful career. She is also very involved in community projects and has the same drive to empower individuals. She volunteers at several community organizations which are charitable in nature. She works with Habitat for Humanity to help provide homes for homeless or impoverished people. The goal is to provide affordable housing to those who might otherwise not be able to afford it. She also works with a program which provides necessary services for stray dogs. This rescue program takes in strays and provides them with the basic needs: food, shelter and love. When she is not working at a charitable organization she offers tutoring and teaches yoga and meditation.

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Shari Duddy – Top Special Ed Teacher in NJ  

Shari Duddy is a top teacher in New Jersey; she has established herself in the educational world and demonstrated her expertise and skilled...

Shari Duddy – Top Special Ed Teacher in NJ  

Shari Duddy is a top teacher in New Jersey; she has established herself in the educational world and demonstrated her expertise and skilled...

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