Staff Spotlight: Judy Wasserman-Behavior Interventionist at Fredstrom Elementary School

Every week, we’ll shine a spotlight on one Lincoln Public Schools staff member! Get to know the wonderful people making a positive impact across various areas within LPS. This week, meet Judy Wasserman, behavior interventionist at Fredstrom Elementary School.

“Judy has an uncanny way of connecting with students in their hardest moments. She goes out of her way to create resources for students, connect with parents and support teachers. I had several students with various needs who utilized the student support room run by Judy. She would always take time to check in with me to be sure we had the same expectations for the students we shared. We would set goals together for the student and then Judy would work with me and the student to make their time in class the most successful that it could be while scaffolding the supports that were listed on their IEP. She was a blessing to work with at Fredstrom!” - Amanda Christensen, first grade teacher at Norwood Park Elementary.

Briefly describe your role at LPS.
In my role, I assist students who access the Student Support Center. I collaborate with staff on programming and implementation to help students be successful in the classroom. I also help with maintaining data.

How long have you worked for LPS?
I started in 2009 as a substitute paraeducator. In 2010, I was hired as a secured entrance monitor. In 2011, I became a special education paraeducator and moved to a behavior interventionist in 2023.

What inspired you to become part of the education field at LPS?
I initially applied to be a paraeducator, so I could work similar hours to when my children were in school. I was a stay-at-home mom who loved spending time with children. Initially, my plan was to work until my children were no longer in elementary. I immediately realized I loved helping students. The first student I was partnered with inspired me to continue to help others. I was also fortunate to have an amazing cadre that helped me see how important the paraeducator role could be in a child's life. My children are now in college, and I still love working with the students. I continue to learn every day from the incredible staff that I work with as well as all of the students I see every day.

What has been your favorite part of working here? What aspect of your job do you find most rewarding?
The most rewarding part of my job is connecting with students and helping them be their very best. I love seeing students smile because they’ve had a great day or helping a student work through frustration. It’s rewarding to find ways to motivate a student or have a student excited to come to share something with me. A student's smile, hug, or high-five keeps me going. I try hard to be an adult who brightens a student’s day and someone they can count on regardless of the situation.   

Did you attend LPS as a student? If so, which school(s)? If not, where are you from?
I grew up in Orleans, which is a small town in southwest Nebraska. 

What path did you take after completing your formal education?
I received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. I worked in management for a large insurance company before having children. I then chose to stay at home with my two children before starting my career with LPS.

What is your favorite childhood book or a book that has influenced you positively?
My favorite childhood series was “Little House on the Prairie.” As an adult, a book that inspired me in my current position was “Carly's Voice.”

Share a shout out to a former teacher who impacted your life.
My shoutout is for all the amazing staff that I've worked with at Fredstrom Elementary.  

Do you know a LPS staff member we should feature for Staff Spotlight? Fill out this form to nominate them!

Published: February 8, 2024, Updated: February 8, 2024

Judy Wasserman-Behavior Interventionist at Fredstrom Elementary School