Welcome to Special Education

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Mrs. Lisa Thomas - Area Coordinator

This is my 21st year in education. Prior to becoming an Area Coordinator during the 19-20 school year, I served as an Area Coordinator Intern (FFSD and Ritenour High School), Lead Teacher in Specialized Program classroom for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (Ferguson Middle School and Halls Ferry Elementary), Resource Teacher and Department Chairperson (McCluer High School).

I am excited to support students, families and staff at Lee Hamilton through the creation of an environment of information-sharing, peer support and character building. As a member of the building leadership team, I am a resource and an advocate for all team members so that we can achieve academic and social/emotional success for all.

Outside of Lee Hamilton, I am a wife and mother of one son. I am a graduate of Hazelwood East High School and continue to be active with our Alumni activities. Additional interests include: participating in choir, attending performing arts activities, set design for community drama/productions, and participating in various community service opportunities.

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Ms. Megan O'Toole - Autism Program

I have been in education for 15 years. This is my 8th year as a teacher. I have always worked with children who have special needs. This is my passion. I have a yellow lab named Charlie. He is 15 years old. He loves to be with me and gets sad when I am not around.

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Mrs. Candice Viers - Autism Program

I have been teaching for 15 years in the special school district. I started my teaching journey as a middle school teacher and moved to elementary 8 years ago. I love teaching and look forwarding to teach full time at Lee Hamilton. I am a proud mom to an 8 year old girl and I have been married 11 years this November to my wonderful husband. I have three dogs who I love very much. You can find me painting or reading a book when I get some quiet time. Lastly, I also love going to parks with my family and traveling to new places.

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Ms. Tamara Buse - Resource

My name is Tamara Buse most people who know me call me Tammy and I have been in Education for 10 years. I am a wife and mother of two college age children who always make like interesting! My husband and I recently have moved from Southern Missouri to St. Louis County. When I first started my teaching career I taught 3rd grade where I taught for 4 years. Upon ending my fourth year in 3rd grade I realized that I had a passion for Special Education. This will be my 6th year in Special Education and I love it . In my free time I love to binge watch Netflix ( especially Grey's) I also am a coffee addict you will seldom find me drinking a non caffeinated beverage. I am excited to start this new journey at Lee Hamilton Elementary and build long lasting relationships with co workers, students and families!

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Ms. Leannett Payne - Resource

Hi, I'm Ms. Payne.  I have spent 28 years in education and hold a BSE in Special and Elementary Education, MAT in Social Science, and MAT in Early Childhood Education.  I am a mother of 2. I enjoy walking, riding my bike, board and card games and family time.

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Ms. Elizabeth Schwartz - Speech-Language Pathologist

My name is Liz Schwartz and this will be my 9th year as the Speech-Language Pathologist at Lee-Hamilton. I earned my Master's in Speech-Language Pathology from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, and have been very fortunate to spend my entire career at Lee-Hamilton!

I live in Glen Carbon, IL, with my husband Josh, and almost two-year-old son Lincoln. We are very blessed to be expecting our second son in mid-September.

I am very excited to be starting another year with the Lee-Hamilton family. I love the fact that we are a smaller school, with a tight-knit community of dedicated educators, eager to learn students, and supportive families.

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Ms. DaVia Simms - Paraprofessional

My name is Da'Via Simms. I am a Senior in college at Harris-Stowe State University. My favorite hobby is creating new jewelry pieces and body products for my business. I'm excited to be teaching here at Lee-Hamilton to experience the great atmosphere and get to establish a relationship with the staff and students, as well help them on the journey of learning.

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Ms. Annetta James - Paraprofessional

I have a wonderful husband of 15 years, two beautiful daughters and one terrific grandson who's 8 years old ..I just finish my bachelor's degree, in Sociology, my associate degree is on Early Childhood Education. The Lord is the head of my life.

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Ms. Darlene Silanskas - Paraprofessional

My name is Darlene Silanskas and I was born in St. Louis, MO. I was educated in the St. Louis Public Schools and went on to earn my Associate's Degree at Meramec Community College and Bachelor’s Degree from Grand Canyon University, graduating with honors.
I am married to Ronald Silanskas, Jr. We have been blessed with one child, Desiree’, who is currently in college studying to become a nurse. I thank God for them both.
I have been employed with the St. Louis Special School District as an Educator since October 1996. I currently work with children grades 3-5, with Autism. This is a job that keeps me on my toes. I serve faithfully at my church as a Sunday School Teacher, Youth & Children’s Choir Director, W.O.W. Youth Ministry, and as a Praise Team Worshiper. I love singing, reading and shopping.😊