AOL Jobs Week Resume Contest Winner: Debra Smullen


Location: El Paso, Texas

Job: Special Educator

Time Unemployed: 1 year

What do you want your potential employer to know about you?

I am a supportive, creative, compassionate, certified, versatile and dedicated child advocate with a solid focus on the individual needs of Special Education students and all students.

I am also a kindhearted and empathetic professional who is flexible and accommodating in the design and implementation of inspiring hands-on lessons, employing wide-ranging manipulatives and IEP's to enhance student achievement.


Twenty-three years of teaching experience. Nine years in Elementary, five years in Jr. High School and nine years in High School.


TEXAS TEACHING CERTIFICATE: Special Education grades PK-12 and Elementary Education grades 1-8 Credential.

BACHELOR OF SCIENCE (1986); Major: Special Education Grades PK-12.

University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, Texas.

ASSOCIATE OF ARTS (1983); Major: Elementary Education Grades 1-8

El Paso Community College, El Paso, Texas.

Professional Experience

Parkland Elementary School – El Paso; 1986-1987

Kaiserslautern Elementary School – Kaiserslautern, W. Germany; 1987-1991.

Ross Middle School – El Paso, Texas; 1991-1996.

Irvin High School – El Paso, Texas; 1996-2004.

  • Developed and implemented individual education program for each special education student. Identified and implemented goals tailored to the student's individual needs and abilities. Coordinated with parents, teachers, teacher assistants, and various service providers that included speech, occupational, and physical therapists for students having High Functioning, Autism, Developmental delays, speech impairment, or learning disability in resource and general education classroom.

  • Modeled, trained, and consulted teachers on modification and accommodations to instruction and materials ensuring the diverse needs of every student are successfully realized.

  • Actively supported teaching professionals on effective work strategies with Special Needs students, maintaining a strong focus on learners with Autism. Facilitated presentations and recommended readings while providing interventions and methods on successful behavior management.

  • Employed diverse techniques to promote active learning including individualized instruction, problem solving assignments, and small-group work. Exercised flexibility within the classroom addressing students needs through special accommodations.

Kuwait American School – Salmiya, Kuwait; 2004-2009

  • Planned, assessed, and presented lessons. I maintained and improved proficiency with attendance at faculty and staff development sessions. I monitored and evaluated student progress. I prepared records and reports as well as requisition of supplies and educational materials.

  • Identified the need for a tutoring after school program to help struggling students with varying subjects.

  • Introduced weekly parent newsletters and held frequent parent/teacher conferences.


Skilled in addressing student needs, ensuring children will thrive and develop in an adaptable educational atmosphere. Used firm behavioral management techniques possessing excellent interpersonal and communication skills to develop an excellent rapport with all members of the school community.

If you have a position or job lead for Debra, please contact her at