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West Orange Times & Observer Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020 2 years ago

Influencer of the Week: Barbra Resnick, Innovation Montessori Ocoee

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Barbra Resnick is the social worker at Innovation Montessori Ocoee and Innovation Montessori High School.
by: Tim Freed Former Managing Editor

Social Worker Barbra Resnick has helped establish the strongest social-emotional education program that Assistant Principal Cathy Tobin has ever seen in a school. Resnick, as someone who has chosen to dedicate her life to teaching children the tools to grow into emotionally healthy adults, shows up at the school every day to share her talents.

 

What do you love most about your school?

I love the people I work with! I have never worked with a group of people who were so committed to children and their growth and learning. From our administration to our parents to our students, our entire school community recognizes the importance of guiding humans as they learn about the world and their place in it. Social and emotional learning has the same value and importance as academics and our entire community supports that value. 

 

What’s your favorite part of your role?

I love the connections I get to make with students. Often, our children come from other school environments where they did not have the opportunity to form positive relationships with adults. They sometimes come to us with a deep mistrust of teachers, staff and administration. I love joining them on their journey and watching them figure out that our school is different, that they are now in a supportive and caring environment.

 

What motivates you and pushes you to do your best?

Social work is a hard job! Luckily, being a social worker, I am motivated by relationships. On the hardest days, my relationships with other staff and with our children encourage me to work hard and strive toward a larger goal.

 

What’s the nicest thing a student or faculty member has done for you?

Our students, families, and coworkers are incredibly generous at Innovation Montessori Ocoee! They spoil us with treats, thank yous and celebrations. But honestly, my favorite thing is when I talk to a parent for the first time and their child has spoken about me at home. When parents share that positive feedback, it means more than any gift could.

 

If you could take a vacation anywhere, where would you go?

I have always dreamed of going on a safari in Tanzania; I’ve dreamed of seeing the Great Migration. And I’m currently planning a trip!

 

What do you like to do in your free time?

I don’t have much free time, but with the time I have, I love to read anything I can get my hands on, play video games, and crochet gifts for family and friends. I’ve also just started to learn to play ukulele, so I’ve taken on a new challenge!

 

Cats, dogs or other pets?

We currently have two cats named Winnie and Dorothy. They’re new to us, but they seem to be happy to have joined our family! They are the cutest and are quickly becoming best friends.

 

What’s your favorite place to eat?

I consider myself to be a bit of a foodie and love to find independent, creative restaurants around town. One of my favorites is definitely Tako Cheena. I try to convince everyone I know to eat there!

 

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Tim Freed was the managing editor for the West Orange Times & Observer and the Southwest Orange Observer. 

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