Angela Del Grande is a high school Life Skills Teacher and director of the Transition to Life in the Community program at The Rosedale School.
She began working as a substitute teacher at Rosedale in 2007 and has been full time since 2008. Rosedale serves many of AISD’s students with disabilities and prepares students to live, work and enjoy life independently in their community.
Del Grande said she has known she wanted to be a special education teacher since the seventh grade, when she led a class of elementary school students through an exercise to learn about blindness.
She said she was excited and inspired by the students and by the teacher’s words to her, “You will do amazing things for the students of this world. Embrace the gifts you have.”
During her seven years at Rosedale, Del Grande said she has strived to improve her students’ communication and emotional skills, while exploring the beauty and wonder of Austin.
“[We take] every possible advantage to leave the classroom and venture into the community for vocational instruction,” she said.
The Transition to Life in the Community project at Rosedale was created for 18- to 22-year-old AISD Life Skills students who need support as they leave school and enter the community.
Del Grande has been invited to present at several professional conferences about her experience developing transition programs for older students.
She said her most significant teaching achievements happen daily, “when a struggling student can express their feelings in a safe and productive way.”