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Alumnus returns to DCSD to serve special needs students

James Kramer at Job Corps graduation

DOUGLAS COUNTY – In the fall of 2008, James Kramer entered Douglas County High School (DCHS) as a freshman with special needs. He struggled greatly until he was placed in the Significant Support Needs (SSN) program led by Mary Joy Lewis. After four years in the program, Kramer graduated with honors in May 2012. He was also the recipient of scholarships from the Douglas County Sheriff and the DCHS Counseling office. 

Lewis reports “it was the happiest day of my teaching career when I wrote a letter of recommendation for a scholarship for James.”

Lewis' husband Russ served as Kramer's computer tutor when he took computer repair classes at Legend High School during his senior year. He got this referral from his computer teacher at DCHS who had faith in James and his abilities. He continued computer course work for two years until he enrolled in Job Corps, where he studied Business Administration.

Kramer earned several national certificates by the time he graduated from Job Corps in January 2015. This month, he was hired by DCSD to serve as a transportation assistant on special education (SPED) buses.

Now Kramer has the opportunity to pay it forward and extend a helping hand to SPED kids. "Big James" with his big heart will be a great asset to the team in transportation. 

April 24, 2015 | By SCPaulsen | Category: Alumni, District, Special Education, Transportation

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It may look like a plain, white shipping container was just parked on the backyard grounds of Mountain Vista High School. The contents of the container are anything but plain, though. Walking inside the container, different colors of ambient lighting glow, futuristic-looking equipment and tall towers are suspended from the ceiling, and the humidity level is set to 70 percent. The container has been recycled into a new kind of learning opportunity for students.