Alyssa Wheeler is our Program Specialist at Caliber Beta Academy. She is a compassionate, dedicated and inspiring educator. Her positive attitude and energy radiate in the classroom -- and all over campus. We are VERY lucky to have someone that truly embodies our HEART, SMART, THINK and ACT pillars on a daily basis!
Words about Alyssa from her coworkers:
"Alyssa is an incredible leader. I am so impressed with her depth of knowledge about special education as well as individual student's particular needs. She is always around to answer questions and knows everything that is going on with each member of our team! She is thoughtful with her work and is always striving to adapt the system to meet our students' needs. I see her as a mentor and coach in my work as well as a trusted friend, which is a tough balancing act. I feel so lucky to have her as a colleague."
"When I need to sit with the complexity of a child's behaviors and emotions and bring curiosity and compassion to the table, Alyssa is one of my main go-to people! She's expansive in her perspective - always bringing an acute eye, a strong and unwavering heart, and a psychological wisdom that I truly love and admire. She's also a fierce fighter and an advocate for what is just and humane. Big time respect!"
"Alyssa has a natural ability to instantaneously connect to our students. She loves to work with kids and enjoys every single minute she has a chance to engage with them. I can clearly see her face lighting up after every interaction. Alyssa is such a hard worker who refuses to stop working even when she is sick or losing her voice; she is committed and loves her work. I really enjoy working alongside her and picking her busy brain. I remember the day she had to hide behind my room divider to finish some work and posted a big note that read: "My Brain has too many tabs open" this was hilarious and served its purpose! Alyssa is very talented and will surely go very far!!"
A recent interview with Alyssa:
What is your favorite thing about working at Caliber?
My favorite thing about working at Caliber is my team. They are the most hardworking, compassionate, and curious individuals I've had the pleasure of working with during my teaching career. I love the collaborative spirit, joyfulness, and commitment they show while working passionately with our fascinating kids who think and learn outside of the traditional 'box.' I love that Caliber is open to making big changes and responding thoughtfully to our students and their diverse, individual needs with humility and urgency.
What was your favorite subject when you were in school and why?
I was a creative, quirky kid and art has always been my outlet and method for understanding the complexity, beauty, and tragedy of our world. I always enjoyed expressing my thoughts visually and analyzing art and art history. I actually stumbled into teaching and Special Education after teaching at an art museum and managing a docent program.
What is your favorite memory associated with music?
Music was a huge part of my life growing up because my dad produced local musicians in New Hampshire (where I'm from) and I spent a lot of time with him in the recording studio located in our house. I wrote songs with my younger sister and played in an obnoxious, ridiculously fun noise band in high school with friends. I also learned to play the Celtic harp as a kid, which I still dabble in.
If you could go on a dream vacation, what would you do + where would you go?
If I could go anywhere, I'd go to Indonesia. It's one place I've never been even though I wrote my college thesis on Javanese textiles. I'd love to experience the art there firsthand and enjoy the tropical weather.
What is your favorite thing about the Bay Area (or specifically Richmond)?
Our Caliber community. I started working here when I first moved to the Bay Area two years ago and it really rooted me as an individual and educator. I also love the access to nature, culture, vegetarian food, and my wonderful friends up here.
What is one fun fact that most people don't know about you?
I competed nationally in baton twirling/gymnastics growing up, but most people wouldn't guess that about me because I'm still extremely clumsy!