Rising Stars

Linda Gheysen
Sembach Middle School Teacher

Functional life skills such as cooking, cleaning, shopping and social skills are the goals in special education classes for students with moderate to severe learning disabilities at Sembach Middle School.

The class of nine students, taught by  Kimberly Cook, is known by classmates and teachers as the Rising Stars.

The students range in age from 11 to l5 and are in grades six through eight. The program was moved this fall to Sembach Middle School from Kaiserslautern American Middle School to have more classroom space.
Ms. Cook has taught the Rising Stars for five years in the Kaiserslautern area.  
“The most rewarding part of my job is seeing these students work hard at a goal, succeeding and feeling the pride in their accomplishments,” said Ms. Cook.

“Even the small things like using a school locker like the other students and being able to open it is an important achievement,” she said.

Ms. Cook is assisted by paraprofessional aids, Rae Bowker, Hany Ahmed and Twila Ray.  Mrs. Ray commented on her students, “I like them. They’re just cool kids. They’ve made me grow intellectually.”

The students take field trips to the commissary, bowling alley and library. Their latest meal accomplishment was a dinner with ham and turkey.