Alumni Q&A: Camille Orr

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Photo Courtesy of Camille Orr
Photo courtesy of Camille Orr

In this series, we will be reaching out to alumni to learn about their career paths and life choices after THHS.  This month we spoke to Camille Orr, a 1990 alumna who became an Exceptional Student Education (ESE) Specialist and School Advisory Co-Chair at Charles Drew Elementary Magnet School in Broward County, Florida.

Where did you go to college?

I attended the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida.

What does your job entail on a day-to-day basis? Do you enjoy it? What’s your favorite part of your work?

I am responsible for ensuring that all students with special needs receive services as documented on their Individual Education Plan (IEP). I also ensure that the school is in compliance with federal law and that they receive the appropriate funding for each student from the state. During the run of the day, I attend staffings, conduct classroom walkthroughs, and meet with parents, teachers, and students.

What was your time at THHS like? How did it influence your career choices? 

I loved my time at Townsend Harris. I am still friends with so many people from high school. Mrs. Appel and Mrs. Garcia first introduced me to special needs students by asking myself and my best friend Sonia to volunteer at the Special Olympics. I volunteered with them for four years and because of this experience I decided to become a special education teacher and now a specialist.

Townsend is definitely not an easy school to attend. Did you find it difficult? How did you cope with the workload?

The workload was a lot; however it helped me become a very organized person. I live by my agenda and that’s actually a practice I started at THHS.

Any advice for current students? 

It’s never too early to start thinking about and making plans for college. Find something that YOU are passionate about! Most of all, enjoy and live life!

What is the most important thing you learned in THHS?

The most important thing I learned in THHS is how to work and get along with all types of people and personalities. It prepared me for life. I had such a rich and diverse experience in high school and I still reference it today.