Jamie Cohen has been at The Joshua School (TJS) for almost ten years, five of which she served as the Program Director of the Joshua Early Intervention program at the Joshua Early Childhood Center (JECC). Jamie first heard of TJS when she was working at the Princeton Child Development Institute, the organization TJS was partnering with to learn more about ABA therapy. Jamie recalls, "At the time, I knew I was going to move to Denver, so needless to say I was thrilled to connect with these people!" Jamie interviewed with Jason Gruhl [founder] and Nicole Frank and accepted the lead teacher position, a role she would play until she moved on to become the Joshua Early Intervention (JEI) Program Director.
One of the things about being at TJS/JECC that Jamie loved was seeing things come to fruition- to be able to see a vision and help make it a reality. Jamie played an integral part in acquiring the current facility in Centennial, where JECC currently runs its programming. In the last ten years, she has formed a connection with all of the staff at JECC, especially her counterpart, Brooke Lestikow, Joshua Academy (JA) Program Director. She describes their relationship as having "...had to experience many hurdles together. She’s the yin to my yang. We’ve developed such a supportive friendship over the years whether it be a work issue or something personal. We joke that we spend more time together than we do our own husbands!"
(Jamie and Brooke pictured at the 2021 JECC Graduation.)
What makes JECC so special is being able to integrate students in the JEI and JA programs together. It reinforces a culture of inclusion and empathy in our students. One of Jamie's favorite memories was being able to hold an integrated graduation ceremony for students in both of these programs. She describes this year's graduation preparation, "The team here practiced many times together to get the kids prepared. To see our JEI kids’ progress with sitting in front of 60 people was outstanding! All of the kids did so well together. There was a moment in dress rehearsal where one of our JEI friends gently knocked off a few of the JA kids' caps. All of our JA kids were so understanding and didn’t get upset. They simply picked up their cap and put it back on. Hearing the kids singing 'Somewhere over the rainbow' was absolutely heartwarming."
Jamie, we cannot thank you enough for your contribution to TJS, especially JECC. We are forever grateful for your commitment and dedication to our staff and students. We wish you the best and can't wait to hear about where life takes you next!