Emma Willard School welcomes De Shan Lett as the director of cognitive skills. De Shan joins Emma from The Packer Collegiate Institute in Brooklyn, New York and brings well over a decade of experience in teaching, teacher training, and special education to Emma. A new position at the school, De Shan will monitor and assist students with learning differences from admissions through graduation. She will also serve as an advisor and mentor to any Emma Willard student in need of guidance in managing her class assignments, busy schedule, or study skills.
De Shan will regularly meet with students in need of additional assistance (and their families as needed) to discuss educational history and current needs to develop long-term goals and plans for each girl. She will also serve as a resource for parents and faculty to help them understand and support each student’s individual academic needs.
“I want to be a sounding board for girls,” she said. “And if a girl needs more than just occasional guidance, such as educational testing, I will be there to work with her and her family each step of the way during her time here.”
De Shan also encouraged any and all students to stop into her office in Slocum Hall. “Emma is known for its rigorous curriculum,” she said. “I am here to help all students even if they just need someone to discuss methods for homework or a particular class assignment.”
Before coming to Emma, De Shan served as a middle school learning specialist and head fifth grade teacher at The Packer Collegiate Institute. She was previously a teacher of language arts for the fifth to eighth grades at The Windward School in White Plains, New York. She has also served as a learning specialist at the Bronx Charter School for the Arts, aspecial education teacher for the first through fourth grades at New York City Public School 090 George Meany, and a special education teacher for both the fifth and sixth grades at New York City Public School 126 Dr. Marjorie H. Dunbar. In addition to her experience as a classroom teacher, she was also a fellow advisor for the New York City Teaching Fellows program. As a fellow advisor, De Shan taught 30 new teachers special education teaching skills.
De Shan earned a master’s degree in education from Lehman College. She earned her bachelor’s degree in both Africana studies and international studies from Wayne State University. She is also working toward a second master’s degree in professional studies from Cornell University.
De Shan comes to Emma with her miniature dachshund, Sasha; her cat, Lola; and two 10-year-old, foot-long turtles named Lilo and Sukie. She lives on campus.