It’s almost impossible to pass Teacher Courtney Grimes’ class without witnessing something magical going on inside. From adaptive games and learning exercises to playing her students’ favorite tunes, Courtney knows how to meet her students where they’re at.
A Levittown native, Courtney was a camp counselor at Easter Seals before graduating college from West Chester University and joining HMS in 2005. She was even able to follow some of her students from camp to HMS, where she witnessed them grow and thrive.
“My mom was also a special education teacher so I grew up around people who were living with disabilities,” said Courtney. “My sister, though, was the one who kept telling me that HMS was where I needed to go, she kept telling me it was the best place!”
Even though Courtney joined HMS nearly 18 years ago as special education teacher, she says she hasn’t stopped learning.
“My first year teaching I quickly realized my student’s needs and how they access the world was the most important thing I needed to learn,” said Courtney. “Once I started letting my student’s needs dictate how I structured my class, I felt like I could really make a program that was able to best serve my kids.”
As Courtney has grown in her role, she helps others get ahead as well.
“Courtney is an excellent teacher and considered to be a leader here at HMS,” said Theresa Tocco, Education Director. “Courtney has volunteered to be a mentor for new teachers as well as volunteered to present at conferences to share her knowledge and experiences with others. We are fortunate to have Courtney on our HMS team!”
An all-star in the classroom and outside, Courtney is a regular presenter of adaptive technology around the country, taking her experiences and expertise on the road to share with other professionals. Most recently, Courtney attended and presented at the 2022 Closing the Gap Conference in Minneapolis.
“Courtney is a leader of Team Fun. She knows that our students learn through play and getting to be active participants in activities and she strives to make sure that all students are able to be engaged,” said Teresa Giardina, Co-Director of HMS Connect and frequent collaborator with Courtney on conference presentations. “Courtney has an eye for adapting materials to make them accessible, she doesn’t see trash, she sees an opportunity! Her relationships with current and alumni families show that she strives to support students and families both at HMS and in their communities.”
So, what’s the best part of the job? The people.
“HMS is a place where if I can’t figure something out in my classroom, I can ask for help from anyone because everyone in this building is here for our kids,” said Courtney.
We’re so lucky to have such a rockstar of a teacher here at HMS!
HMS Spotlight highlights members of the HMS family that make every day special. If you’d like to join the HMS family, visit our Career Opportunities page for open positions today!