Employee of the Week: Leora Byras

Education Specialist Leora Byras is being highlighted this week as the Maine DOE’s Employee of the Week! Learn a little more about Leora in this brief question and answer:

What are your roles with DOE?

My position at the DOE is on the Public School Monitoring Team within the Special Services Department.  We work with public schools, regional programs and charter schools to ensure that children with disabilities have access to FAPE and the best programming possible to not only meet their needs, but to grow and thrive.  This includes professional development with the administration and teachers, and helping to oversee compliance to federal indicators.

What do you like best about your job?

I love to go out to the districts and meet the teachers, conduct professional development with them, and meet the children they teach.

How or why did you decide on this career?

I entered the field of special education over 25 years ago to help children who were not having positive experiences in school.  I was blessed to work alongside amazing people over the years who shared my vision of building a positive, welcoming classroom environment where children who had trauma backgrounds, or autism, for example,  would be welcomed and supported through their academic and emotional growth.

What do you like to do outside of work for fun?

I recently joined a roller derby league (Go Androscoggin Fallen Angels!) and am having so much fun learning the sport!  I also love to read and do crafty things.