I met Ona when she was investigating placement for her own children while they were in the East Meadow School District Middle School Program for students with special learning needs. She was searching for something more to help her children meet their full potential. She found it. Both her children graduated high school, one with a local diploma, who is currently working as a dental assistant and the other is attending a New York VIP Program. Throughout the investigation process and during her children's tenure at Calhoun she was an individual who communicated well with administrators, teachers and support staff. Being an advocate for your own children is natural, however the relationship she honed with Calhoun and Bellmore - Merrick was one of candidness and honesty that helped her children immensely. Mrs. Krebs went on to finish her degree and substitute in many school districts including Bellmore- Merrick. To be a successful educator one must possess organizational and interpersonal skills that breed integrity, confidence and reliability. I believe Ms. Krebs will be an asset to the individuals and organization she works for because she endeavors to do what is in the best interest of the children, that is the essence of what we do.
I worked with Ona in her role as a paraprofessional assisting the classroom teacher. Ona dealt with a wide range of children with handicapping conditions which included the learning disabled, the emotionally handicapped any physically handicapped. I always found Ona to be a dedicated professional who is diligent, conscientious and extremely capable. She handled her responsibilities thoroughly and often went beyond the boundaries of her job description to assist to comfort students who needed her. Her caring and dedication to the children were a pleasure to observe. I will always remember Ona as an excellent Paraprofessional and a wonderful young woman. I am happy to endorse and recommend her. I am sure she will be an asset to any organization.
Ona exhibited great enthusiasm with our special education students.
Ona has worked collaboratively with the school district to place her children in the best educational program to meet their needs. While maintaining realistic expectations, she has advocated for programs which would foster their opportunity to progress to the best of their ability. Through her children, she has experienced vocational programs with BOCES and National Center. She has explored and met with representatives from outside agencies such as VESID and OMRDD. Mrs Krebs went above and beyond to help her son develop in a post high school like program. She actively investigated the vocational independence program in the New York Institute of Technology, and presented it to CSE. Mrs Krebs is always thinking outside of the box to find new solutions to the problems special students face. Ona has been a wonderful advocate for her children , willing to put in the time to learn what services and programs are out there, putting ideas into action, and enthusiastically embracing choices.
My son was diagnosed with cerebral palsy , developmental delay, sensory processing disorder and low muscle tone. While Ona has been working with us, she has made sure that it was more than worth my son's while. She's been prepared from day one with so much amazing information to help my baby out. She's been an amazing year, communicator and consultant for his issues and needs. She was loving like a second mother to him and never raised her voice to him. Her sternness had the strength of a mother but the love of a nanny. I highly recommend her.
When I was not receiving the proper help from an agency tasked with helping individuals with multiple disabilities, Ona came to my rescue. She is a shining example of everything an advocate stands for. Ona acted professionally and with empathy. She spoke with poise, authority and sincerity. She really understood how my disabilities impacted my life. I am very grateful for her help and understanding. Ona is an outstanding representative of the role of advocate.
My 6 year old son was having great trouble with school issues and placement. He was diagnosed with Pervasive Development Disorder (PDD) and had been in a speech and language program from the ages of 2-5. Unfortunately, the school district could not offer him placement for the upcoming school year. As a mother, I felt like there was no one who could understand what I was going through and the heartache I felt. I had no where to turn. No direction. I was lost. I was left with such despair that I felt like giving up. Then I found Ona. She listened to all my concerns and my son's needs. Ona advised me of all my options regarding schools, after-school programs, and support groups. She set up a plan and then put the plan in motion. For the first time in a while I felt hope. Ona even continued researching other options to ensure that we could choose the best for my son. Ona also took the time to explain the educational lingo to me. She didn't throw out acronyms expecting me to understand them. If not for Ona's wealth of knowledge, and care and concern for my child's well being, I fear that my son would not be on the road to a promising and hopeful future that he is on now. My son has special needs and deserved a chance just like any other kid. But he wasn't getting. Ona was the key to opening the door leading to the right program. She helped show others that he was deserving of a chance. Ona also taught me how to be an advocate for my son. With her help, I gained the knowledge and confidence to persuade the staff in the school district that my son was going to get the best and I would not take no for an answer.Words cannot convey the amount of thanks and respect I have for Ona. If it wasn't for her I don't know what I would have done.
Ona is one of the best advocates I know. She always stands her ground and never backs down.