MOT, OTR/L, ATP, Occupational Therapist, Granbury ISD
“The kids teach us more than we teach them,” said Sandie Sermarini a member of the American Occupational Therapy Association, mentor, and innovator with Granbury ISD. EduSmart has the opportunity to work with outstanding educators who continually go above and beyond to make a difference, and Sandie is certainly a powerhouse of change. Sandie works diligently to apply technology to give all levels of learners an even playing field.
Mrs. Sermarini is dedicated to equalizing access to education and success by bringing new and innovative ideas to her students in Granbury ISD. “Technology evens the playing field” and allows all students to participate, reach their individual, unique potential, and provides students with motivation and confidence. Programs such as Go Baby Go and EduSmart support independence for students with disabilities and learning challenges.
“Sandie has a keen understanding of the barriers to learning faced by students with disabilities. She has made it her mission to strive for equitable learning opportunities for all students through access to appropriate assistive technology,” said Shelly Curtsinger-SPED Interim Director for Granbury ISD. Mrs. Sermarini saw a need in her school to integrate technology in order to help all students at all levels. She says she is very thankful to be in an encouraging district with so many resources, especially in technology.
She notes that her giving community has supported the technology driven ideas she and her team have implemented. Sandie collaborated with her colleagues and community to bring the national program Go Baby Go into her school. Granbury High School Robotics students, students with limited mobility, and the Go Baby Go program worked together to find a way for students to participate in PE programs lead by the Adaptive Physical Education teacher. Read more about the program here.
Sandie has even worked with EduSmart to meet her students’ diverse needs. After a colleague introduced her to EduSmart, she quickly saw what a powerful tool it is. She gives kudos to EduSmart for encouraging independent learning and small group interactions with motivating videos and explanations.
While many teachers might stop there, this was just Sandie’s starting point. She was pleased to see EduSmart had a text-to-speech option, but had found areas in the LMS where that feature could be expanded to enable a greater accessibility to the product. Mrs. Sermarini suggests thinking about the student who cannot read when one is setting up their lesson plans. Not only did she reach out to EduSmart with her ideas, but worked with a team to see how best to implement them.
Sandie’s colleague, Deidra Zschiesche, says, “Mrs. Sandie is an amazing woman. When I came to work with her 4 years ago I was lost on all the paperwork I was having to do. She sat down with me, showed me her ways, and helped me with everything through technology. I named Mrs. Sandie my mentor because I would call her with questions and she would be right there to help me through the process. She truly wants to help all of her students and coworkers be successful!”
Mrs. Semarini closes each of her e-mails with the following quote, "For people without disabilities, technology makes things easier. For people with disabilities, technology makes things possible." Sandie continues to prove that being innovative, thinking big and bringing technology into schools allows students at all levels access to education.
Sandie Sermarini’s Recommended Resources to Learn More:
- Books to learn about assistive technology:
- Inclusive Learning 365: Edtech Strategies for Every Day of the Year by Christopher Bugaj and team
- Assistive Technology in Special Education: Resources to Support Literacy, Communication, and Learning Differences by Yara N. Farah and Lindsay M. Nixon
- Online resources to learn more: