Harnessing Heart and Hope: Behavioral Health Teacher Raises Over $100K for Exceptional Student Education
From Sensory Rooms to Hallways: A Day in the Life of a Remarkable Educator
Nestled in the heart of Pinellas Park, Florida, the Nina Harris Exceptional Student Education (ESE) Center resonates with the enthusiastic spirit of a special individual.
That person is none other than Jacquie Grimes, a seasoned behavioral health specialist who graces the school’s corridors with her unwavering commitment to her students.
In a typical school day, you’d find Grimes spreading positivity across the campus, her engaging demeanor adding to the unique charm of the ESE Center.
As she walks down the hall, her reassuring voice echoes, “All right, here we go guys,” and her infectious smile reassures every student she encounters.
From classrooms to the library’s sensory room, Grimes assists students with diverse needs. She tailors her communication strategies to individual requirements, constantly striving for the tangible progress that makes her role so rewarding.
“It’s amazing to see them,” Grimes exclaims, expressing her delight at witnessing the growth and development of her pupils. “A lot of them communicate and learn new ways. They are all different and we see so many improvements.”
A Lifelong Journey with Nina Harris ESE Center
Her association with the Nina Harris ESE Center extends back far beyond her 16-year teaching stint. As a child, Grimes found herself volunteering at the very institution she now contributes to as a behavioral specialist.
“The school and the staff, students made an impact on me,” said Grimes. “I went to school and to college, to come back home and work at Nina Harris.”
Fundraising for the Future: A Heart for the Community
In addition to her role as an educator, Grimes serves as a guardian of the school, selflessly raising funds for its upkeep. Such dedication has not gone unnoticed.
“It is not uncommon for a group of people to walk through the door on Monday, and say they met Jacquie on the weekend at a function, and here is a check for your school and your children,” shared Jacqueline Cassidy, principal at Nina Harris ESE Center.
Grimes’ heartfelt efforts have coaxed generous donations, accumulating to well over $100,000, an achievement that speaks volumes of her commitment and charisma.
The Legacy of Love and Strength
In spite of personal adversity – Grimes’ daughter is currently battling cancer – her resolve remains unbroken. Inspired by her daughter’s courage, Grimes continues to serve the school with an unwavering spirit.
“She inspires me to be strong, come to work and just overcome any obstacle that is in my path,” Grimes shared.
Brimming with pride for her school and students, Grimes confidently plans to spend the remainder of her teaching career at Nina Harris ESE Center, a testament to her unwavering dedication to this beacon of education in Pinellas County and the wider Bay area.