I am ELP: Roilyn Graves

What experiences brought you to ELP?

I have always been incredibly passionate about the work I do with students and families. I started my career as a Special Education Teacher in Philadelphia, Pa. At my core, I will always be a special educator.  I transitioned into student services/ special education administrative work which allowed me to have a deeper understanding of the way systemic oppression impacts vulnerable populations. I learned how to center the needs of the community and work alongside those who are most impacted.  While working in this role, I developed a passion for inclusive education – it can work when we work it (see article). This led me to another passion of mine – teaching. I work with the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University teaching aspiring general education teachers how to incorporate best practices into their teaching while challenging the narrative of what it means to educate students who learn differently. With my transition to ELP, I am hoping to bring a perspective that allows us to center the most vulnerable populations in the amazing work we do.  I am hoping to uphold high expectations for all of the students we serve and, I am hoping that students who learn differently will see themselves reflected in the work we do with districts, organizations, and communities.

What are you hoping to learn while you’re at ELP?

I am hoping to learn how to design high quality performance assessments on a large scale while centering neurodivergent learners.  I would like to support districts and school communities with inclusive education as it relates to high quality performance assessments and graduate portfolios.  I am also hoping to learn more about research projects on a large scale and how to use that information to improve school outcomes.

What are you most excited about starting at ELP?

I am most excited about working with a team that centers human connection while making an impact on the world of education. I am looking forward to getting to know everyone on the team as well as getting to know our clients and their school communities.

Another project that I am incredibly excited to join is the work ELP is doing with the Oak Foundation. The case study aims to illustrate high-leverage school practices that support the well being and success of Black and LatinX students with learning differences.  I am beyond honored to support this work.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

  • Cuddles with Sully (my dog)
  • I’m a professional frolicker 
  • Music is Life
Roilyn with her Mom
Roilyn with her brother

Roilyn’s Bio:

Roilyn is a trailblazing advocate for inclusive education and has been in this work for the last 20 years. With an unwavering commitment to equality and empowerment, she has dedicated the past two decades to transforming the educational landscape for marginalized students. 

Roilyn began her career as a special education teacher for the School District of Philadelphia. After teaching for 10 years, Roilyn transitioned into special education administration and served in schools on the east and west coast in similar capacities. Currently Roilyn works as an Assessment Design Partner and is a course lecturer in the graduate school of education at Stanford University. In her spare time she enjoys cuddles with her dog Sully, chatting with her nieces and nephew, and karaoke (mostly at home).

Learn more about Roilyn in her ELP blog post and/or connect with her on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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