Stephanie Iwanciow 2021 Exceptional Service Award Recipient
The Bay School
Santa Cruz, Calif.
Stephanie (Steph) Iwanciow originally joined The Bay School in 2003 and has dedicated 18 years of her career to our organization. Steph is The Bay School’s longest-term employee!
Steph holds a master’s degree in education, has a special education credential, and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). She has held many roles within our organization including Instructor, Senior Instructor, Special Education Teacher, and Clinical Coordinator. Steph transitioned to her current position of Behavior Analyst in 2019. She is responsible for mentoring and supervising classroom teachers, conducting assessments, and leading the development of behavioral interventions for students on her caseload. During Steph’s employment at The Bay School, she has taken an active leadership role across the various positions she has held and has contributed to the development, implementation, and evaluation of many school-wide systems.
The past year has been a universally challenging time for both students and educators—and it was also a time where Steph demonstrated a great deal of creativity, flexibility, and innovation to support the individuals we serve. She maximized 1:1 synchronous learning time for students on a daily basis. She facilitated virtual peer social groups where individuals served participated in art projects, yoga routines, dance parties, and field trips. She also helped design a distance learning program for a brand-new student (who was admitted to our program a week before the shelter-in-place order) and supported the team in successfully providing training to his parent via Zoom through Spanish translation. Finally, Steph played a positive role in transitioning our team and our students back to campus for in-person learning during a time when there was a lot of uncertainty and fear. It illustrated her dedication, flexibility, and commitment to our organization and students.
One TBS parent writes:
“During the global pandemic, Stephanie and I worked together closely. I'll never forget one of the supports she innovated was a parent training that I attended on Zoom. She provided strategies to help parents know how to help their child be successful for Zoom instruction. Stephanie was always available via telephone and Zoom. We had some very serious conversations where she compassionately listened and counseled during the time my son was home. My son was engaged and comforted when he would see Stephanie on Zoom. It was obvious that he respected and had a working rapport with her. Stephanie met every moment of the distance learning journey from thoughtful parent counsel, planning lessons with team members, meeting challenges and celebrating the successes of my son."
When our students had all returned to campus full time this summer, we had a vacancy for a teacher position that needed to be filled immediately. Without hesitation, Steph utilized her special education training and credential to step into this position for three months until a permanent teacher was assigned to the classroom. Steph not only fulfilled all the duties of the classroom teacher (i.e., overseeing the educational programming for all 10 students and managing a team of 10 Instructors), but she also performed all her responsibilities as the Behavior Analyst of the classroom as well. It is one example of the many ways Steph has demonstrated a commitment to fulfilling the unique and constantly shifting needs of our program at any given time.
Steph is a highly passionate and dedicated employee of The Bay School. She is extremely organized and known for her well thought-out spreadsheets and the array of colorful post-it notes that adorn her desk. After nearly two decades, she continues to find new ways to support our organization—she has participated in May’s Employee Recognition and Appreciation Committee, and recently also joined the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council. Most importantly, Steph is a clinician who exercises a high degree of integrity, as she never hesitates to make the right decision under difficult circumstances in protection of the individuals we serve.
Steph has contributed to making measurable improvements in the lives of many individuals served at The Bay School for the past 18 years. She has shown an unwavering commitment to the mission of our organization.