By Debbie Shelley

The Catholic Commentator  

Kristy Monsour, the new program administrator of the Diocese of Baton Rouge Special Education REACH program and Resource Lab Services, has spent the summer visiting schools and learning about their unique gifts.  

Kristy Monsour.jpg

Kristy Monsour

 

She’s also been forming relationships with the administration and staff of the schools in order to help children with special needs obtain a quality education.  

Monsour graduated from St. Scholastica Academy in Covington and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education and Master of Education degree from Louisiana State University. Additionally, she participated in dyslexia therapist training and is certified as an Academic Language Practitioner.  

With 18 years of experience in education, Monsour most recently served at Our Lady of Mercy School in Baton Rouge as Lower School assistant principal and after school resource lab coordinator, which has allowed her to form relationships with many school administrators.  

After visiting many of the multiple special education sites, she identified one of the strengths of the schools to be the teachers.  

“We have wonderful teachers … their knowledge is phenomenal and they love the children,” said Monsour.  

She said the parents are also a source of strength because they “are willing to provide in any way they can.”  

With challenges of the upcoming school year presented by the coronavirus pandemic, Monsour has been working with the principals and staff to make sure they are following safe practices and to get a better idea about their plans to make the transition easier for students. She acknowledged that each school is unique and “does something a little different” to address such challenges.  

“We (the Special Education Program) like to follow what our host sites does in order to make a seamless transition from home to school,” said Monsour.  

She would like to expand the strong foundation of the Special Education Program “across the river” so that more schools outside of the Baton Rouge area can serve as special education sites.  

Additionally, she would like to raise awareness concerning dyslexia.  

“If children have early intervention they can succeed and do very well because they have the intelligence as well as the motivation to learn,” said Monsour.  

She enjoys spending time with her children Johnny, 14, a student at Catholic High School in Baton Rouge, and Matthew, 12, and Hayes, 7, both students at OLOM School.  

As a Catholic school alumna and mother with children in Catholic schools, Monsour believes in the value of Catholic education in preparing children to succeed, spiritually as well as academically.  

“I love beginning and ending the day in prayer, in taking what you have at the moment and knowing God will give you the rest,” she said. “I believe children are God’s hand on earth and I see that in every child I am called to serve.”