Even before she left college, Jacquelyn Nowak knew she would teach children with autism. While a student at Towson University, Jaci worked as an assistant at a summer program for children with autism.
“I worked alongside an amazing teacher and fell in love with my job,” said Jaci.
Each summer, she returned to the same class – an experience that solidified her dream to become a teacher for children with autism. That dream is now a reality, and today, Jaci teaches elementary school students with autism at the Y.A.L.E. School’s Mullica Township campus.
After Jaci earned her undergraduate degree in psychology in 2004, she took a job as a one-to-one assistant for a student with autism in a public school. Within two years, she had completed her Master’s degree in elementary and special education. She went on to work for the Early Autism Project in South Carolina as a therapist in the homes of children with autism. Later, she taught a self-contained class of elementary school students with autism, where she gained experience working with home therapists, parents, speech therapists, occupational therapists and physical therapists.
In the spring of 2011, Jaci relocated to New Jersey and accepted a position at the Y.A.L.E. School’s Mullica Township campus.
“The position was for a teaching assistant, but the opportunity excited me, so I accepted the job. I hoped it would lead me to my own classroom again,” said Jaci. Within two months, she was offered the opportunity to become a teacher at the Mullica Township Campus.
“Jaci is an amazing educator,” said John Barnard, M.Sc.Ed., BCBA, Assistant Director of Y.A.L.E.’s satellite programs for children with autism. “Her dedication and commitment to her students is unmatched.”