Mary Jane Duling attended Emporia State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Education. Mary Jane spent time substitute teaching for USD 259 before choosing to stay home after having her first child.
Incredibly dedicated and ready to serve
Eighteen years ago, Mary Miller, or Miss Mary, found her place at Rainbows United as a para-educator. One of her responsibilities is to provide affection to the children at Rainbows and the children never fail to express their love back to her.
In more than 27 years of serving families through Rainbows, Occupational Therapist Laura Barnes finds joy in working with children as well as their families and caregivers. “I chose to work with children because I love them,” Laura said.
Melissa Baumgartel is the newest addition to Rainbows’ Bright Beginnings in Butler County. Before coming to Rainbows, she worked with children ages 3-5 through the school district as an Early Childhood Special Education teacher for 12 years.
For Family Resource Specialist Lutfe Begum, Rainbows is like home. She enjoys coming to work every day with her coworkers that are more like family. Lutfe has served with Rainbows for more than 23 years, ten of which were spent as an Occupational/Physical Therapy Assistant.
Early Childhood Special Education Teacher, Kenda Belknap, says there was no decision making in how she became a teacher. “I came from a long line of teachers so I think it was just always in the back of my mind,” she said. Kenda has served at Rainbows for 10 years, doing what she loves.
Since she was little, Annabel Bentley knew she wanted to be a teacher. Now, serving as an Early Childhood Special Education Teacher, Annabel is the lead teacher for Classroom 6 at Rainbows’ Kids’ Point.
“I was just looking for a job,” Parker Broadfoot said. “My mom, who has worked with Rainbows for years as an Infant/Toddler Early Childhood Special Education teacher suggested Camp Woodchuck. Once I started, I knew this is what I wanted to do.”
For Allison Bruntz, July 2015 marks two years of her career as an Occupational Therapist for Rainbows’ Sedgwick County Infant/Toddler Services. Allison received her degree in Occupational Therapy from KU Medical Center in 2001.
Terrelle Burdine began working at Rainbows in 2001 and has never looked back. He attended Butler County College and is currently finishing up his Child Development Associate Credential.
“I have always loved working with children, so I decided that Rainbows would be the right place for me. Working at Rainbows has given me a better understanding of individuals with special needs.”
Linda Cathey’s mother was a pediatric nurse and, growing up, Linda loved going to work with her to play with the children. In high school, Linda began volunteering with the Special Olympics. These experiences led Linda to pursue a career as a physical therapist assistant at Rainbows.