Lorraine Wyant brings a positive attitude and helps boost morale at the North Coastal Consortium for Special Education (NCCSE), her team says.
"She's a positive force at NCCSE and has the uncanny ability to see the strength in others and guide them to where their strengths will serve them best," said Lydia Schnitta, a speech language pathologist on her team.
That positivity is a big part of why she was selected as the San Diego County Office of Education's Certificated Manager of the Year.
Much of her success as a manager is because of her strong interpersonal and communication skills, said Carissa Aung, an occupational therapist.
"She listens to each person's concerns and struggles by providing support and encouragement with empathy," Aung said. "She recognizes the differences in personalities that each of us have and promotes teamwork and collaboration so that we can work together to best serve the students in our assigned districts."
Being recognized as Manager of the Year is humbling and especially rewarding since Wyant plans to retire this month.
Wyant said she always knew she wanted to be a teacher. As a teenager she had opportunities to work with children, teaching summer programs and Sunday school.
Her first teaching position was in the Dominican Republic before she moved to the U.S. She then worked as an elementary school teacher in Escondido for nine years before taking assistant principal jobs in Encinitas and Santa Barbara County. While she was working in Encinitas, she discovered her passion for special education when she became an administrator of the special education programs there.
"The work with students, staff, and parents tugged at my heart and led me to go down that path," she said, "And I'm so grateful I did."
She started working for NCCSE in 2007 and has been in her current position as special education coordinator for the last nine years. In that role, she supports employees who provide professional development and special education services for the 14 school districts the consortium serves.
"She continuously supports and encourages me to be the best teacher I can be," said Lizbeth Green, a teacher with NCCSE.
Wyant said she's thankful for her teams.
"Our employees are committed and very talented," she said. "They make a huge difference in the lives of students every day."