Special Education Team
Our special education/diverse learner team consists of the case manager, diverse learner teachers, counselor, school psychologist, speech/language pathologist, school social worker, certified school nurse, health service nurse, licensed hospital practice nurse, occupational therapist, physical therapist, audiologist, english language learner support and vision specialist. Our “team day” this year is on Thursdays, which is when the majority of our meetings will be held, as our clinicians are only at Ogden part time.
Diverse Learner Teachers
Jelani Semmes (5th Grade Inclusion)
Jelani Semmes grew up in Hyde Park on the southside of Chicago. He moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan where he attended junior high and high school. Mr. Semmes graduated from Northwestern University where he received a B.S. in Social Policy and Education. After spending over a decade in the corporate sector working for consulting and investment firms, he decided to change careers and give back as an educator. Mr. Semmes graduated from Concordia University with a Master’s in Teaching, LBS1 endorsement (Learning Behavior Specialist), and an endorsement in Middle School Social Studies. He is currently pursuing another Master’s degree in Educational Administration and Leadership through the University of Illinois. This is Mr. Semmes 4th year as a CPS teacher. In his free time, he enjoys watching college football, spending time with family and friends and exploring all that this great city has to offer.
Meggan Christensen (4th Grade Inclusion)
Ms. Christensen (or Ms. C as most students at Ogden call her) graduated from Quincy University with a Master’s degree in Elementary Education with a LBS1 endorsement as well as endorsements in Middle School Language Arts and Arts in 2012. She has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa in Communication Studies and Art. Ms. Christensen was born and raised in Iowa and received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa in Communication Studies and Arts and is a huge Iowa fan…Go Hawkeyes! This is her 5th year as a Learning Behavior Specialist teacher at Ogden and previously taught at two other schools within Chicago Public Schools, Lafayette Elementary and Beard Elementary. Ms. Christensen strongly believes in the motto “It takes a village to raise a child” and values parent involvement and building a strong relationship between home and school. In her free time she enjoys exercising, going for bike rides, cooking, reading and spending time with family and friends.
Matt Mateja (2nd/3rd Inclusion)
Content to come
Bridget Callaghan (1st Grade Inclusion & Resource)
Content to come
Joyce Yu (K Inclusion & Resource)
Ms. Yu was born and raised in Maryland. She graduated from the University of Maryland with a BS in accounting and worked as a tax accountant for four years before moving to Chicago to earn a Masters in Special Education. Ms. Yu started as a Diverse Learner teacher in 2009 with a CPS school on the west side of Chicago and moved to Ogden East in February 2016. She has been a special education teacher with CPS for nine years and has worked with students ranging from K-8th grade. She is trained in Orton-Gillingham and Wilson reading programs and is the proud mother of a first grader who has recently graduated Kindergarten from Ogden!
Mrs. Hiller grew up in PA and received her Bachelor's in Elementary and Special Education from LaSalle University and her Master’s in Reading from Cabrini University. She recently received her 2nd Master’s in Educational Leadership and Law from Indiana University. Mrs. Hiller is beginning her 5th year at Ogden and 12th year as an educator, with 10 years as a Special Education teacher. She is a trained and certified Reading Specialist with a passion for teaching young children how to read. She also has a strong desire to increase special education awareness throughout the community. She enjoys creating and sharing differentiated resources with teachers and parents in order to help their children learn & grow! Besides her love for teaching and learning, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, walking and skiing! Mrs. Hiller is looking forward to a very successful year with the entire Ogden community!
Case Managers serve as the local school district representative and are responsible for the following:
Ms. Potter is entering her 2nd year at Ogden International. She graduated from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign with an undergraduate degree in Psychology and went on to work in a variety of education and childcare-focused roles. Having a passion for supporting the healthy and well-rounded development of youth, she went back to school in 2013 to earn a Master’s degree in School Counseling. During the final year of the program, Ms. Potter worked as a counseling intern at Skinner North Classical School and as a substitute teacher for CPS. She is currently in the process of becoming a Nationally Certified Counselor and a Licensed Professional Counselor. Ms. Potter loves to incorporate art, music, writing, and games into counseling to help students gain self-awareness, develop empathy, and express their emotions in a productive way. In her free time, she enjoys running, yoga, baking, reading, and getting together with family and friends!
SECAs (Special Education Classroom Assistants)