Episode #12 - Belinda O'Dell
Belinda O’Dell has spent her 25-year professional career working with diverse student populations. She began her career at Anderson County Jr/Sr High School in Garnett, Kansas where spent three years. Belinda then worked at Ottawa High School where she served on various school and district level teams and was the Department Chair for the Special Education Department. Belinda left Ottawa after 8 years to become the Transition Specialist in De Soto. Belinda spent nine years in the De Soto District helping students and families plan and prepare for life after high school. While in De Soto, Belinda developed the 18-21 special day school known as The Bridge. This program was developed to help students who needed additional time to learn daily living and employability skills and was a showcase program for De Soto schools. Belinda’s family relocated to McPherson, Kansas where she found herself back in the classroom teaching Functional Academics at McPherson High School. During her time at McPherson, Belinda focused on inclusive educational opportunities for her students. In partnership with the Business teacher, she created a student-run business known as Pup Prints that paired students in General Education with students in Special Education to design, create and manage every aspect of an apparel company. Belinda also created opportunities for students to spend more time with their general education peers by using a mentoring system and placing her students in general education classes with these mentors to help expose them to grade-level content. Belinda also co-taught classes with general education teachers. Belinda’s family once again relocated, this time to Topeka, Kansas where she is currently a Special Education teacher at a Special Day School for students with significant behavioral and emotional challenges.