When I was teaching in the School District of Philadelphia, I overheard one of my second graders whisper to her friend, “She has such good ideas!”

It made me smile—having good ideas was my job; a job that quickly turned into a passion. I am fortunate to have landed where I had the opportunity to influence lives through art.

And then children with special needs were introduced into my school. Working with children with autism, learning disabilities, physical and behavior disabilities challenged me to invent and adapt strategies to meet their individual needs.

Talk about learning through trial and error!

As the years passed, the successes began to outweigh the errors. The children blossomed in the art room, proving they had abilities other people thought didn’t exist.

Then I had another idea!

By this time, I was Chair of the Art Education Department at Moore College of Art & Design and my idea was to design an MA in Art Education with an Emphasis in Special Populations. I began by looking for a program that could guide us in our planning only to find there was none. I went from looking for a model to being the model!

An exciting journey, for sure!