Liana Hulcher is the staffing specialist at Ocoee Middle School. Hulcher works with teachers and staff members to ensure any and all students with an exceptionality/disability receive the services and accommodations required under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. She is part of the CORE/leadership team where she works with administration to monitor student growth and implement plans to improve the school environment.
What brought you to your school?
I have been a staffing specialist at the elementary and high school level, so the middle school was the missing piece. My husband also works at Ocoee Middle and spoke so highly of Principal Sam Davis, so I applied when there was an opening.
What do you love most about your school?
The people! Our principal has created a school culture that really makes you feel like part of a family. OMS has a diverse make-up of students, (and) every day is a different day.
What is your motivation?
Proving to people that you do not need a higher education or fancy job to have or teach kindness, responsibility and high morals or values. My father is a Cuban immigrant, and he left Cuba at 13 years old by himself. My mother grew up in the farmlands of Puerto Rico. Neither of them went to college. However, both worked hard and taught us how to treat others with kindness and respect. Nothing is given to us, and we need to work for everything we want.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
When students with exceptionalities are showing their growth and true potential that they can master their goals.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Relax at the pool, go to the beach with friends and listen to music.
Who was your favorite teacher when you were in school? Why?
I didn’t have one in particular. All of my teachers were very different which taught me how to handle different personalities and structures.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? Why?
I always wanted to work with children. At first, I wanted to become a pediatrician but quickly figured out that I do not do well with seeing children (who) are sick or hurting. So I became a teacher instead.
What is your favorite children’s book and why?
“Polar Express,” because of the sheer innocence.
What are your hobbies?
Crafting and dancing.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
Healer, because, as I stated before, I don’t like seeing people sick or hurting.
If you could only listen to three bands or artists for the rest of your life, what would they be and why?
Jennifer Lopez, because I have always admired her work ethic and tenacity. People can tell her “no,” or “you can’t,” and she will prove them wrong in every way. Luis Miguel, because many people do not know who he is, but he is a lyrical genius with romantic Spanish ballads. Also, any classic salsa band as it reminds me of my childhood and culture.
What was your go-to lunch as an elementary student? Any favorite snacks or special treats you remember?
There are so many memes about it, but definitely the square pizzas in the lunchroom and when we got to buy ice cream (strawberry shortcake eclairs) on Fridays.
What is your favorite holiday and why?
Christmas, by far. It is the birth of our savior Jesus Christ and the time I get to spend with family and friends.
Who was your best friend when you were in school and why? Are you still in touch?
I really didn’t have just one. There was a core group of us that went to elementary, middle and high school together. We did everything together from building forts in the snow to hanging out at the end of the cul-de-sac on the big green electrical box. We don’t really stay in touch outside of Facebook or Instagram.
What were your extracurricular activities as a student? Did you win any accolades or honors?
I was always a good student on the A/B honor roll. I played softball for a bit in high school. When I went to college, I became a member of a sorority, Alpha Sigma Alpha, and the Geography Honor Society, Gamma Theta Upsilon.