Daryl is originally from Minnesota in the United States and started his journey at White Lodge before recently becoming the Principal at Melbourne Specialist International School.
“Growing up in the 1970s, my experience with special needs children was quite limited, as in public schools, they were almost always taught in segregated classes and mainstreaming was a paradigm of the future.
As I began high school, I began teaching swimming lessons and enjoyed working with a number of special needs children before I graduated from High School in 1985. I found this experience to be enlightening and wonderful.
Later on, while attending University, I also began a full time job working with adults with special needs, in a residential setting. During those years, I discovered my ‘happy place’ as I also found myself volunteering for Special Olympics (coaching swimming, volleyball, soccer, track and field and snow skiing; with both adults and children) and other community outreach programs, including: academics, music and drama, for those with impaired abilities.
After graduation from University, my employment shifted to various other populations, including: the homeless, the unemployed, those with TBI, the mentally ill, and those with chemical dependency, but I always saved some time each week for my “happy place”, spending time with special needs folks, and enjoying their sunny smiles.
Fast forward to 2008 when I moved to Singapore and began my career in classroom teaching. Over the past eight years, my students have ranged from 4 to 40 years in age, and have come from multi-national backgrounds, and many have had special needs. My main focus in Singapore has been English as a Second Language, Literacy, Phonics, Reading programs, PSLE, creative writing and Kindergarten. I enjoy teaching all my students, but what really touches my heart is the students who are struggling. I immediately want to get to know them, to learn what supports I can provide them, to help them achieve their goals, gain success and self-confidence, and acquire a good quality of life… and happiness”