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Our Story

Tammy Fenster

Special Educator K-12 
Parent of neurodiverse learners

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About Tammy:

  • Educator specialized in adapted curriculum, communication, reframing behavior, Autism, and Down syndrome

  • Parent of 3 neurodiverse children: Down syndrome, Speech-Language Impairment, Dyslexia, ADHD, and Executive Function 

  • Certified in Assistive Technology: experienced with multimodal communication systems

  • PDA Certification Program through PDANA Organization

  • Trained Spelling to Communicate (S2C) instructor

  • Natural Play Therapy Practitioner

  • Mindful Schools Practitioner

  • Volunteer at Wings of Hope Ranch, Horse Therapy Program

  • Enjoys baking; love of animals and gardening!​

Tammy Fenster, special educator, mother of three neurodivergent children, her daughter of which has an Intellectual Developmental Disability. Parent advocacy took over Tammy’s world as she faced many obstacles in her children’s education. She remained tireless in striving to overcome a bureaucratic system of education.

Tammy did this by educating herself and by educating others in educational rights, inclusion, discrimination, and injustice. One of her children had no voice – truly could not communicate through spoken language – and was very misunderstood. Her daughter experienced trauma in elementary school from being misunderstood due to her nervous and sensory systems, communication differences, and the system’s mindset. Through Tammy’s insights, she helped guide her daughter’s educational teams through partnership.

 

Tammy firmly believes in supporting the “whole child”. In 1998, she founded “Downright Special”, a Vermont statewide parent support group, to ensure parents had a greater voice in education and in their communities. Tammy also served on the Board of Directors for the Northern New England Down Syndrome Congress (NNEDSC) and Special Olympics Vermont. Additionally, she led and organized the Vermont Down Syndrome Buddy Walk for 6 years bringing awareness and promoting acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome. Tammy’s philanthropic work has touched countless families.

 

Through Tammy’s experience in advocating for all her children’s education, she chose to continue making a difference by becoming a special educator over 10 years ago, but the system limited her in how she could appropriately support students. Her visualization of a supportive flexible learning environment fostering natural learning and authenticity became reality in 2022 as Tammy formed a private nonprofit educational model, Mosaic Pathways.

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