Staff Spotlight: Helen Capparell

Helen Capparell has been a Speech Pathologist for a total of 30 years, with 20 of those years serving the students of Colonial Intermediate Unit 20 at Colonial Academy. In addition to her role in the classroom, she has volunteered at countless events to support the students, including: themed dances, proms, Special Olympics, and the recent vaccine clinics.
When asked what the most rewarding part of her job is, she says, "Seeing kids succeed! Even if it seems small to others, it may be huge in their world. Giving kids a voice, helping them grow, making them believe in themselves and achieve the best version of themselves."
In dealing with challenging behaviors or situations in the classroom, she tries to "Laugh everyday and keep a balance of compassion, sternness, and understanding...that these students learn in different ways. A level of trust, respect and caring all need to be mixed together to gain success."
Since the onset of the pandemic, Helen has tried to engage her students in new ways, "I try to stay positive and energetic...knowing that students are missing out on community instruction, I brought virtual pumpkin patches, corn mazes, grocery store shopping, amusement park rides, and scavenger hunts to the speech sessions."
Helen's piece of advice for a new employee starting at the IU is "Remember that all of these students are kids first. Take the time to laugh and smile with them."
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