When Daniel Himstedt was a student at Central Michigan University, he got a chance to observe a class in speech therapy.
He's been hooked ever since.
Daniel has been a speech pathologist since 2000, the last six years with the Saginaw ISD. He now works with preschool, middle school and high school students in Chesaning.
He admits he has great fun with his students. It's not uncommon to see him on his hands and knees or laying on the floor interacting with his students.
"The kids are fantastic – and I make it a point to follow their lead," Daniel said. "I can more effectively help them reach their individual language goals when I intentionally connect with what my students are already thinking and doing. There’s really no greater joy in seeing their learning light bulbs go off. ”
Amanda Smith, special education supervisor at Saginaw ISD, said Daniel has that rare ability to shift gears to meet the speech needs of every student, regardless of their age. Somehow he can work with a preschooler for a half-hour and then mere minutes later support a 9th grader without missing a beat.
"This adds another dimension to Daniel’s teaching,” Amanda said. “Being so responsive to the varying needs and personalities of your student’s in not an easy skill to master. But Daniel accepts kids where they're at and never fails to provide engaging lessons. His students know he’s pulling for them and is one of their strongest advocates.”
Mr. Himstedt is just one of the over 370 individuals at the Saginaw ISD who support students with special needs in our local school districts.