Susan Van Etten-Kinder
Has identified an existing need that has gone unaddressed, and worked diligently to develop a positive approach that will create an environment that promotes social interaction, community participation, as well as personal growth. Susan has a long history of service to children; also she is the parent of a child who STRUGGLED and is now a successful adult. She has eight years experience working in the special education department. She has worked with all levels of disabilities. She has a Bachelors Degree in Psychology. For four years prior to entering the educational field Ms. Van Etten-Kinder was program director for a local Boys and Girls Club, and as such she wore many hats. She developed plans for children ages 4-17. Ms. Van Etten- Kinder was also tasked with analyzing data and preparing grants that would benefit the center. She was not only an asset to the club, but successfully dealt with parents and community leaders. Prior to her life in Copperas Cove she was involved with the Family Readiness Program or FMP on base where her husband served. As Secretary and Treasurer she also assisted in many fundraisers and the disseminating of information to the families of men and women overseas. A wide variety of service and employment have given Ms. Van Etten-Kinder a well-rounded view of the specials needs community, but most of all she has been “in the trenches” as a parent of a child with disabilities and comes to this business with knowledge and compassion.
Has worked in many areas of need throughout her adult life, from creating the first co-op pre-kindergarten on a Navel Base, while stationed in Hawaii, to volunteering at a special needs classroom in Philadelphia, creating and heading Military families for Quality Education, which aided parents who found themselves transferring into a public school system with no identified process to assist in the placement of their student. Working as the liaison for, Navel base commander in Philadelphia, she addressed the concerns of the civilian as well as military parents. The organization provided the template used for service wide implementation of a system that connected newly arriving personnel with the proper educational agency to address their needs. Mrs. Valentine has been a Para-professional working with special needs students for the past seven years and has had a first hand view of a system that lacks tools it needs to address the lifetime situation many special needs individuals and their families find themselves in.