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Specials

Our early childhood and elementary learners in grades K-6 participate in year-round daily specials. This daily rotation provides different learning experiences beyond core academics in the areas of art, music, physical education, technology, STEAM, and social/emotional learning.

Student in art class working on a self portrait

Art

The early childhood and elementary art education program provides each student with a weekly hands-on experience in producing art, enhanced by the integration of art history, art criticism and aesthetic critiques. Art education classes at this level will encourage critical and creative problem-solving skills, as well as empathy for historical and contemporary works of art. 

Girl standing outside with sign that reads "Life is tough, but so are you."

Social Emotional Learning

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is part of the specials rotation for all early childhood and elementary students. Through this program, Lakota students acquire and apply the knowledge, skills and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals. They also learn to feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions. 

Student in wheelchair sitting at piano reading color-coded music and playing

Music

The focus of the early childhood and elementary music education program is to introduce each child to the joy of music and  begin to develop a variety of music-related skills. Through singing, playing, listening and reading, each student will experience the various elements of music. 

Two smiling boys standing behind a table with a pyramid of cups

STEAM / WonderLab

For students in grades 3-6, Lakota's STEAM special combines Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. STEAM emphasizes innovation, design and aesthetics and engages students in interactive, hands-on learning. STEAM also connects learning across subjects through problem-solving and exploration to prepare students for success beyond the classroom.

For students in grades K-2, WonderLab is a precursor to the STEAM special and inspires wonder and curiosity. Students in WonderLab will explore materials and media that will prepare them for their future learning in Lakota's STEAM labs. 

man in suit leading gym class full of students

Physical Education

The mission of Lakota's physical education program is to instill a love of regular physical activity in students and motivate them to take responsibility for their lifelong health. As students participate in a wide range of games and activities, they develop their motor skills and a sense of fair play. In addition to teaching about healthy fitness levels, teachers provide instruction in personal hygiene and nutrition.

male teacher sitting at table with student working on a computer

Technology

Technology in early childhood and elementary education is vital in preparing students for the digital future. We teach 21st-century skills that are necessary to be successful in today’s world. The course teaches our students how to be digital citizens while navigating online content, curriculum resources and media. 

Meet Our Specials Teachers

Ledra Bugg

Titles: Teacher, Social Emotional Learning
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Ledra Bugg has been in the Lakota District since 1992 and her focus has always been to explore ways to support our youngest learners with their social and emotional needs. In her classroom, named “Buggville,” children explore and learn fun ways to share their kindness and compassion and build positive relationships with each other.

Theresa DeBrunner

Titles: Teacher, Music
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Theresa DeBrunner is the music teacher at Creekside and Heritage ECS. She has taught music in Lakota since 2001. Theresa also enjoys singing and playing piano and organ at area churches. She has three adult children, the oldest of whom is also a music teacher, and enjoys reading, exercising, going to concerts, taking walks and being outdoors. Music is an important part of her life.

Katherine Heintzelman

Titles: Innovation Specialist
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Katie Heintzelman is the Innovation Specialist at Heritage ECS. Katie supports teachers with curriculum and technology integration.  She also helps plan lessons and activities in the Innovation Hub, alongside the Innovation Hub Aide and classroom teachers.

Ben Kellerman

Titles: Teacher, Technology
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Ben Kellerman has been teaching for Lakota Local Schools since 2002. He enjoys showing all of our students how to use our district-provided technology tools.

Lauren Seal

Titles: Teacher, WonderLab
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Lauren Seal is a graduate of Miami University and has been teaching for more than 20 years. She taught kindergarten and first grade before being asked to teach the STEAM class for kindergarten, first and second graders. Lauren loves how STEAM teaches kids to be creative, problem solve, take risks and work together. She enjoys seeing how students use materials to create something new and is surprised all the time at their thinking. Her daughters at home help her test lessons for class. Lauren loves to spend time with her family by coaching their sports teams and playing outside. Please check out all of the amazing creations our students make by looking for pictures and videos on class Seesaw pages.

Laura Siambekos

Titles: Teacher, Art
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Laura Siambekos has been with Lakota since 2005 and started with Creekside in 2018. She has spent eleven years teaching her passion, art. She enjoys making her own artwork at home and sharing her love and expertise with the students at Creekside Early Childhood School.

In the Art Studio, students learn about famous artists, art vocabulary, and have an opportunity to work with a variety of art media such as drawings, paintings, clay or even papier-mache. These projects allow students an opportunity to make their own choices, think critically, problem solve and express their own thoughts and feelings. As students create works of art, either as class projects or on their own at centers, they tell their story. Please ask your student to tell you about the works of art they bring home!  

Karen Tuskey

Titles: Teacher, Physical Education
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Karen Tuskey grew up outside of Chicago and loved playing outdoors. Although she has been teaching physical education in Lakota for over 30 years, it still brings her great joy. Children bring a love for movement and activity.