Meet Dawn Miller

AHEAD: Tell us about yourself.

Dawn: I graduated from Malone University with a degree in social work. Before working for AHEAD, I worked as an Adoption Assessor for Community Services of Stark County. At the same time, I held a position at Crisis Intervention and Recovery Center as an Multi Systemic Therapy (MST) Therapist. In that role, I worked with families who had an adolescent with behavior issues and, in many cases, were involved in the Juvenile Justice System. The goal of the MST model is to utilize every system in a youth’s life to work as a team and support system for the benefit of that youth. The families and therapist engage in intensive therapy to help parents learn parenting tools that would change the undesirable behaviors of their child. That position lead me to AHEAD. I have worked at AHEAD Inc. for the last 2 years as a behavior coach. I work in all 3 elementary buildings and the preschool with children who need extra support managing behaviors. I work with teachers, school staff and administrators to develop behavior plans, help children learn ways of coping, promote positive self esteem of all students and give suggestions for classroom management when appropriate. It has been my goal to work with students in a school setting and AHEAD has been the perfect opportunity for me.

On a personal note, I enjoy spending time with my daughter and son and our 3 dogs Rosie, Ginger and Sophie. I enjoy traveling, reading, and working in my yard.

AHEAD: What does a typical day look like for you?

Dawn: A typical day for me consists of working at one or possibly more than one of the elementary buildings. I work one on one with students and meet with teachers to discuss concerns or progress that relates to students. Sometimes I observe during classtime to see what a student’s behavior looks like in different environments and to help me identify triggers that may contribute to behaviors. Many days I travel between all of the elementary buildings and some days, I may be called to assist with a student who is having a particularly difficult time. I also meet on a regular basis with additional school staff and administrators so that, as a team, we are all working toward the same goals for the students.

AHEAD: What is your favorite part of being a behavior coach?

Dawn: My favorite part of my job is all of the hugs I get from students throughout the day. Students just walk up in the hallway and smile and give me hugs all day. That show of affection makes even very difficult days worth the effort.