Lisa Moody is a fierce advocate and holds high expectations for her students, both academically and socially. Moody teaches K-6 special education at Jefferson Elementary in Omaha, Nebraska, where she focuses on student strengths and approaches every responsibility with a positive outlook and mindset. Faced with a shortage of special education teachers at Jefferson, Moody spearheaded a new hybrid, inclusive education program, mainstreaming students in her Alternate Curriculum Program into general education classrooms. Special education students learn basic social skills in the classroom while working with Moody on academic subjects and life skills. The program has now expanded to several schools throughout the district. Moody also piloted a verbal behavior program, training multiple colleagues in instructional strategies that have improved communications skills throughout the school’s special education population. Moody often carries more than 25 students who see academic and social growth as they make progress toward their IEP goals.
Moody knows all students learn differently and consistently researches, develops interventions and works with colleagues to meet student needs. She leads professional development at Jefferson on special education topics and makes sure general education teachers have the correct accommodations—books, number lines and calculators—for the special education students who spend time in their classrooms. At the district level, Moody serves as an intensive teacher mentor and participates on a committee that promotes equity in special education practices.
Moody’s can-do spirit encourages all her students to grow and succeed, without limitations. Working closely with parents to find ways to connect and build positive relationships, she goes out of her way to find materials students need by buying them herself or soliciting donations if they fall outside the school’s budget. She engages with her students about their interests and often attends sporting events and other activities. Moody is patient with children, colleagues and families, and her impact on students is lasting with many returning to visit and share their experiences after graduation.
A product of a family of educators, Moody earned a bachelor’s in speech-language pathology education in 2009 from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, a master’s in special education in 2011 from Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi, and a master’s in education with certification in early childhood and ESL in 2022 from Creighton University.
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2022 M.S., Early Childhood Education and ESL, Creighton University
2011 M.S., Special Education, Texas A&M - Corpus Christi
2009 B.S., Education, University of Nebraska at Omaha