By Carolyn Lee
The Imperial Republican
Celeste (Pankonin) May graduated from Chase County Schools (CCS) in 2007. It might not have crossed her mind that she’d be re-entering CCS in a relatively short number of years, but this time as a teacher.
May is the new ESU #15 speech pathologist, working only at CCS. She obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in education and human science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2011, followed by a Master of Science degree in speech language pathology in 2013.
As a speech pathologist she helps her students achieve academic success as well as social skills. “I do a lot more than fix ‘r’s,” she noted.
May works with students to find articulation for all sounds at the elementary level. In the language aspect, she helps students follow directions and with their grammar.
Students with traumatic brain injuries work with memory, organization and reading comprehension.
Her goals vary, May said, depending upon the student, as she works with “a wide variety of kids.”
At present she spends time with 25 students, but that number will increase as she visits classrooms and talks with students.
She wants to help students “achieve academic success in the classroom regarding language. With the higher needs kids, it varies from communicating basic needs up to using communication devices to tell someone a whole message.”
Technology such as programs for speech that can be loaded on an iPad has really helped in her job, May noted.
She loves “working with kids all day,” May commented, adding that “the teachers and staff here have been so helpful. It’s fun to be back.
“There are teachers who taught me that I work with now. It’s fun to be on the other side,” she enthused.
As this is May’s first year of teaching, it’s considered a clinical fellowship year. May has a mentor, who will work with her until she receives a Certificate of Clinical Competence.
May, married to Mathew May who works at Frenchman Valley Produce, enjoys watching movies and being with family. Her main hobby now, however, is being the C team girls’ volleyball coach.