Meet The Special Education Team
Special Educator 4-6
My name is Tom Yahner. I have been a Special Educator at Oak Grove since 2015. My office is upstairs and I work mostly with the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th graders this year.
My family and I moved here from Eugene, Oregon in August of 2013. We moved here specifically to access the strong schools available in this community. We are continually amazed at what Brattleboro has to offer families!
I began teaching in 1988 (BS from SUNY Geneseo) and have taught Elementary, Middle and High School. I earned a Master’s in Special Education at the University of Oregon in 2005. Particularly fun and interesting were the 8 years I spent sharing a High School Special Education job with my wife. Our kids (now 13 and 15) were small and we arranged it so that we alternated days so one of us was home with them each day.
I’ve taught a lot in traditional settings, but also outside the typical settings. In eighth grade I gave trumpet lessons and taught swimming lessons, both of which I did for many years. In the mid ‘90’s I lived in Australia and worked as a dive instructor. For about 12 years I made a living as a professional juggler, with performances and workshops in 10 states and four countries. I’ve taught more than 10,000 people to juggle. After moving to Brattleboro, my family discovered NEYT and I’ve had great pleasure in being part of the directing team for several shows.
Through it all I have learned that I love teaching/learning best when a person gets to do something they didn’t think they could do, something they thought was impossible--sometimes that person is me!
My name is Heather Day and I am entering my 19th year as a special educator working with students in grades K-6.
I earned my undergraduate degree in English & Politics at Mount Holyoke College. I began my teaching career with Teach for America in Miami, Florida in 2003. I have since taught in the Dallas-Forth Worth area of Texas and moved to Brattleboro in 2018.
I am a native Vermonter, originally from Arlington, and I’m happy to be back in the Green Mountain State. I bring with me my two sons and our little dog Lou.
It is my passion to find new and inventive ways to help all children reach their highest potential academically, socially, and emotionally to enable them to become independent adults who are active members of their communities and life-long learners.
Speech-language Pathologist (SLP)
Hi! My name is Jennifer Sawyer and I serve as the speech and language pathologist (SLP) for pre-k-6th grade here at Oak Grove School. I screen, evaluate and treat speech and language disorders, as well as consult with teams, including parents, to help support students’ communication. I graduated from the University of Vermont's (UVM) undergraduate speech pathology program in 1996, worked as a speech assistant for several years in Vermont and Western Massachusetts, and returned to UVM to receive my Master’s of Science Degree in Speech Pathology in 2003.
After receiving my master’s, I started my career in Essential Early Education (EEE), working with children between the ages of 2-5, in Springfield, VT. Following the birth of my first child, I wanted to find a position closer to home, which led me to my current position at Oak Grove School. I have been lucky enough to be at Oak Grove for the past 14 years!
I live in Brattleboro with my husband and our three children. I enjoy reading, cooking, walking our dog, Jeter, and spending time with my family. Together we root for the New York Yankees, although we are a family of native Vermonters. I immensely enjoy my career as a speech-language pathologist and I feel grateful to be a part of the Oak Grove community. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at email@example.com or 254-3740, ext. 128. Thank you for trusting me with your children, a privilege I don’t take for granted.