Years at Prep: 5 months
Gonzaga Prep welcomed Danielle Bears this fall as Learning Resource Center director. She’s been a pediatric and school-based occupational therapist for 18 years -- 15 of those with Spokane Public Schools. And while she’s new to the staff, Prep is a familiar place: She has a senior and sophomore here, and will have a freshman in the fall.
In a job that calls for maximum flexibility she works to set up accommodation plans for students with learning differences that can be anything from ADHD and dyslexia to anxiety or students who’ve suffered concussions .“My job is to be a bridge between the students and teachers.”
You’ll find a calm and welcoming atmosphere in the LRC, where students can take tests in a calm, quiet space. By recognizing that students learn and succeed in a variety of environments, she makes the LRC a place that meets students where they are, she says. “Every day is different.”
She’s moved by the care the students have for one another: In her first week at Prep, a senior football player came into her office and asked if he could help a freshman in a wheelchair with getting around campus. He mentioned that he’d been injured his freshman year and really wanted to help out because he knows how challenging it can be to get around this campus in a wheelchair. “I was so impressed,” she said.
Bears loves working at Gonzaga Prep because students are in a thriving community of love and support. “These students know they are important and loved by God.” Every teacher here is invested in the well-being and academic success of their students.
When she’s not in the LRC, you’re likely to find her in her garden or watching her kids’ activities at St. Al’s or here at Prep.
Bears is inspired by the words of Rita Pierson: "Every student deserves a champion; an adult who will never give up on them; who understands the power of connection and insists that they become the best they can possibly be. "
Favorite job perk: A parking spot
Favorite food(s): Seafood
Dream vacation: Time with my family in a warm place with calm ocean and my paddle board.
When she was a kid, she wanted to grow up to: Work in pediatrics, and have a big family.