Maureen Simpson, School Specialist
IRC Atlanta is pleased to announce that Maureen Simpson has joined our team as School Specialist. Maureen comes to our agency with experience working as an ESL Instructor and student teacher of 9th and 10th grade literature at Druid Hills High School. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism with a minor in Sociology from Samford University in Alabama, and a Master of Arts in TESOL from Georgia State University.
The School Specialist is a liaison between IRC’s families and the schools. Maureen will be responsible for not only helping refugees navigate the system, but also for helping the schools better understand the challenges our families face. This means that in addition to enrolling students in school, she also addresses attendance, academic, and behavioral problems that either schools or families bring to her for guidance.
In her short time since joining the team Maureen has enrolled about twenty new students, coordinated several parent-teacher conferences, and organized school orientations for parents who arrived in April and May to help them better understand what to expect of the school system – and what the school system will expect of them and their children.
When asked why she decided to become a school specialist, she said she “wanted to be more directly involved with the families in a way that teaching doesn’t allow.” Student teaching was Maureen’s first exposure to refugees and the educational challenges they face, and she realized that she wanted to be able to “meet families where they are, not just where their kids are dropped off.”
Please join us in welcoming Maureen, and thank her for helping make a difference in the lives of refugee students.