Hello! My name is Melinda Luna. My husband and I have been married for 3 years, and have the most amazing two year old son, Logan. In addition to our human child, we have 4 dogs, 2 cats, a tortoise, a Pacman frog, and a saltwater fish tank (with Nemo and Dori). We currently live in St. Bernard Parish. I was educated in the Jefferson Parish School System, and later graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Southeastern Louisiana. I am duel certified in Elementary Education and Mild/Moderate Special Education. I’m currently employed as a LASARD facilitator here at LSUHSC HDC K-12 Initiative. My passion is to help improve the lives of individuals with disabilities, by working with their teachers, family members, and even friends. I am most proud of my first year teaching. I was fresh out of college, spent all summer working on supports, and had the most welcoming classroom. After my first day, I realized that all of the training and time spent preparing for the year meant absolutely nothing. I wasn’t quite sure if I would make it past my first week teaching in a special education class, since I didn’t feel prepared for all of the exceptionalities and behaviors of the students that were on my caseload. By persevering through my first year, I learned how to be flexible, resourceful, collaborate with others, and even more committed to working with individuals with disabilities. My favorite part of being a LASARD facilitator is working with the other facilitators across the state. We all bring such different areas of expertise to the table, where we often learn and build ideas off of one another. We are much more than colleagues, we are a LASARDian family that supports each other through work related and personal successes and challenges.