The vision of the Learning and Academic Disabilities Department is to develop and empower students to become good self-advocates and independent learners through utilizing technology, building personal toolboxes of strategies, and accessing all available resources. We will achieve this through fostering positive relationships and open communication with staff and parents.
Elizabeth Joachim – Resource Teacher/Chair of Department - email
Welcome to the special education staff page. I serve as the middle school resource teacher for our special education department. I am a proud advocate for students and their learning here at Briggs Chaney MS. I believe that middle school is an important time for students to empower themselves with the skills they need to be successful both academically and in life. I strive to create collaborative learning partnerships with students, families, and staff to make middle school a meaningful experience. Again, thank you for sharing your children with us.
Evelyne Awundaga, Science - email
I am so excited to be teaching as a Special Educator here at Briggs Chaney Middle School. I’m from Southern Cameroon and moved to Maryland in the 90’s. My experience in teaching spans from middle school to the high school level and I’ve been teaching for over twelve years. My children went to BCMS and I’m so proud to be here, giving back to community that trained my children. I will be co-teaching 8th grade English Language Arts and Science this academic year.
Martha Ball, Paraeducator - email
Hello and welcome back to school! It is going to be an awesome year and we are going to learn a lot together. I am a Special Education Para-educator and I really enjoy working with our young people and feel their positive energy and enthusiasm every day. I have worked at Briggs Chaney Middle School for 13 years. I’m bilingual English/Spanish and I am extremely glad to serve as a liaison between the Hispanic community and our school staff. I have a certificate in Administrative Support in Technology. This year I am supporting 6th and 7th grade students in World Studies. I love dancing Middle Eastern dance, ballroom dance and Latin dance. Also, I like exercising, playing the piano, painting, gardening and traveling.
Kimberly Bet, Resource - email
I grew up in Northern NJ with four brothers and extended family members as my neighbors. I completed my undergraduate Bachelors of Science degree in Elementary & Kindergarten Education with Pennsylvania State University and my Master’s degree in Special Education with Towson State University. I started my career teaching first grade, then second grade, in Baltimore City for four years before transferring to MCPS. I have spent my entire career of over 24 years in MCPS teaching at Briggs Chaney MS. I have had the opportunity to co-teach with many different talented teachers in all three grades and in all the major academic courses. I sponsor three different after school activities, Girls’ Softball Team, Chess & Board Games Club, and Tennis Club because I believe it’s important to give our young people a chance to have a variety of experiences and activities outside of academics in order help them grow as well rounded individuals.
Isaiah Chambers, Special Education Teacher - email
Hello, my name is Isaiah Chambers and I am so excited to join the Briggs Chaney Family as well as having the honor to teach and support your child this academic year. I am a Prince George’s County native and a recent graduate from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, where I played baseball for 4 years. Some of my hobbies include exercising, listening to music and cruising in my Jeep. This school year I will be co-teaching in both Math 7 and Math 8 classes. I can’t wait to see what the year has in store for us.
Cristina Godoy, Reading - email
I was born in Puerto Rico and raised in Illinois. My heart is deeply tied to Puerto Rico. I love the food, music, natural beauty, and culture. I visit as often as I can to spend time with my family. I am the fourth generation in my family to graduate from University of Illinois and graduated with a degree in Finance. I quickly found that, although I continue to love spreadsheets, numbers, and data, I really wanted to be a teacher. I graduated from Illinois State University with a degree in Special Education. I later earned a Masters in Reading from Arkansas State University. I have enjoyed teaching students from kindergarten through high school across four different states including Illinois, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. I love hiking, traveling, reading and eating a variety of food with friends. I have a son named Brandon who is an avid thru hiker and has hiked over 3,000 miles, including a section of the PCT and completing the Appalachian Trail. My dog Mina is a yellow lab mix who loves to swim and hike. I'm truly excited to teach the students of Briggs Chaney Middle School!
Gretchen Halsey, Paraeducator - email
Daniel Legacki, World Studies and Math - email
Born and raised in Anchorage Alaska, Daniel sought out warmer climates and attended the University of Arizona and graduated with a B.A. in Political Science and History in 2007. Daniel taught in Los Angeles from 2007-2010. Afterwards he attended Brandeis University and attained an M.A. in Conflict Resolution in 2012.
In the spring of 2012 Daniel moved to the DMV and spent some time working for the National Education Association. He decided in the spring of 2013 that he missed the classroom and decided to attain a teaching license for the state of Maryland. He is eligible to teach Special Education, History, and Social Studies.
Susan Martin, Paraeducator - email
I have been with Montgomery County for 21 years and at Briggs Chaney MS for 18 years. I love providing instructional support for student success. I lives in Montgomery county and my two children are proud graduates of MCPS. Previously I served as the Executive Director of a women's political group. I have a business degree and I attended University of Maryland. In my spare time, I'm involved in several service organization and love my work serving homeless veterans and Wounded Warriors.
Loraine Palmer, Paraeducator - email
This is my 16th year in MCPS and I have been at BCMS for 14 years in Special Education. Not only have I provided instruction to our students, I can truly say that I have also learned a lot from our students. I hope to continue to positively impact and enrich their learning for life, or until I retire back home.
Erica Roberson, Speech Pathologist
Hey everyone! I am a speech-language pathologist and a Northern California native. I earned my Bachelor’s degree at Alabama A&M University, Master’s degree at Howard University (HU), and I am currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Communication Sciences & Disorders at HU as well. I am passionate about working collaboratively to create an optimal learning environment for our students, while providing them with the skills and tools they need to be successful. Particularly for students with communicative challenges, I aim to empower and equip them with functional strategies that they will be able to use across multiple environments for the rest of their lives. I look forward to working with your children and will do the best that I can to provide them with the highest quality of support and service.
Carthell Russell, Alternative Teacher - email
Nicole Wescott, Paraeducator - email
Parent and Student Resources
Special Education Parent Guide
Free Online Text Reader
Cool Math 4 Kids