Today found me and photographer Michael Gallacher at the Early Learning Preschool at Jefferson School to interview Janice Nugent, who has been a speech therapist with Missoula County Public Schools for 41 years and is retiring in June.
Nugent has raised five children; advocated for people with disabilities; takes care of her brother, who has Down Syndrome, during summers; and earned her PhD in special education in 2011 at the age of 61. (“I wanted to prove that I could,” she said about writing a dissertation.)
After our interview, we followed her into a classroom, where she worked with a small group of students — in a coat closet.
The location seemed appropriate, she said good-naturedly.
“Speech therapists never have rooms,” she said.
It just reminds me how amazing the quality of work is that Nugent and others are able to do with limited resources.