“I fell in love with the field of special education because the rewards are so meaningful when working with students with exceptionalities,” Dr. Bonanno said. “It takes a superhero to be a special education teacher. You need patience and a big heart, but you can make a huge difference in the life of a child.”
Bonanno-Sotiropoulos is also a double alumna of Bay Path University’s undergraduate and master’s programs and is delighted to return to her alma mater to teach in the special education graduate program. As a professor, she supervises teaching candidates from a wide range of backgrounds, including public and private school teachers, as well as paraprofessionals and content educational teachers. What she loves most about her work is connecting with students and inspiring them to reach their dreams in special education careers.
“From the moment I started as an undergraduate at Bay Path, there was something special about the University. It changed me by opening doors,” Bonanno-Sotiropoulos explained. “The special education graduate programs, in particular, are a group of professionals who support and relate to each other.”
Bonanno-Sotiropoulos is also the author of seven books in the field of special education--a field that’s been her passion for more than 16 years.
“It all started with my first daughter Emma and watching her overcome her challenges,” she said. “As her mother and advocate, I took it upon myself to learn everything that I could to support her and give her the strength to succeed despite challenges. Little did I know that would eventually turn into such a rewarding career that has included roles as a special education teacher, SPED administrator, professor, author, and now a program coordinator.”
Through the publication of her books, Bonanno-Sotiropoulos is actively contributing to the field of special education by researching and writing about current best practices and theories while working with students with exceptionalities.
“The books that I have co-authored take the most current research in the field of special education, identify and highlight the benefits of evidence-based practices, and discusses their application within the classroom and school settings. The books also focus on working with students with disabilities, their families and other providers, emphasizing best practices,” she said.
All of her books are international publications and it is her hope that the books will be adopted into many teacher preparation programs and used for professional development within school districts. The books are written to address the array of needs from teacher candidates to veteran teachers, from school administrators to parents, and related service providers to school counselors.
Learn more about the special education graduate program, now available in a blended online/on-ground format in East Longmeadow and Concord, Massachusetts.