Ms. Susan Wesolek: Speech-Language Pathologist


   Ms. Susan Wesolek has been working as a speech language pathologist for the past seven years in many different schools. Starting out in LaFayette, Georgia, and moving back to Illinois after living four years in Chattanooga, Tennessee, she is now a part of the Guilford teaching department.

   “I really enjoy working at Guilford,” said Ms. Wesolek. “The teachers, staff, and students have been wonderful to work with my first year. I also love all the courtyards our building has.”

   Many people in high school have no idea what they want to do in life. However, Ms. Wesolek knew what she wanted to do at a very young age.

   “I became interested in speech and language pathology when I was in my teens,” said Ms. Wesolek. “My cousin has cerebral palsy and is non-speaking. He uses a variety of modalities to communicate–sign language, an Augmentative and Alternative Communication device, and vocalizations to express himself.  It was inspiring to see SLPs work with him on building those skills, and it got me started down the path of speech pathology.  When I went to college at Augustana College, the classes in my field were my favorites, and as a sophomore I was able to start observing and working in our student clinic. That sealed the deal for me!”

   Being new to Guilford as a teacher is not without challenges, though.

   “I think trying to start a new position and getting to know and build relationships with students during COVID has been the biggest struggle,” said Ms. Wesolek. “It took me a while to find my groove this year.”

   That is not to say that this year has not been positive. Ms. Wesolek has had many positive experiences working at Guilford.

   “One of my favorite things this year is working with students in our PLUS program,” said Ms. Wesolek. “It is great to see their communication grow, and I always enjoy our interactions!”

   Ms. Wesolek has also said there have been many surprises throughout the year.

   “The amount of collaboration and teamwork here has been such a pleasant surprise,” said Ms. Wesolek. “Much more compared to other schools and districts I have worked in.”

   With any teacher, COVID has had some sort of negative impact and Ms. Wesolek is no exception to this.

   “COVID has affected pretty much every aspect of teaching this year,” said Ms. Wesolek. “I am a speech-language pathologist. The use of masks makes certain aspects of speech and language therapy difficult, especially when I need to demonstrate a sound or technique with my mouth or see the way a student is producing a sound in their mouth.  It has also affected service delivery since many of the students I serve are remote this year.  Learning to provide therapy and use a variety of online platforms has been challenging, but a wonderful opportunity for growth.”

   It is safe to say that Ms. Wesolek has found a home here at Guilford.

   “When I heard that RPS had a high school opening, I was crossing my fingers to get placed there. So glad I did,” said Ms. Wesolek.