Growing up with a sibling who was deaf, Jamie Bozarth knew she wanted to be a teacher for the deaf and hard of hearing. Now, she has taken on the role of clinical manager at VocoVision, a telepractice provider working with children across the country.
Bozarth’s position at VocoVision has evolved over time, initially working with students through telepractice and then becoming the deaf and hard of hearing education liaison. Last year, she reached out to VocoVision asking if they had full-time positions, leading to this new role.
“In this position, I get to support the teachers so much more,” Bozarth said. “I make connections with all of them. I'm here for questions. If they have any problems with students, then I get to help do that.”
During her five years at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Bozarth earned her Bachelor of Science in education and human sciences and master’s degree in deaf education. Bozarth also received endorsements for Inclusive Early Childhood Education and Education Administration.
Twelve universities had the program Bozarth was seeking and provided opportunities for her to continue her gymnastics career, but UNL beat them all.
Bozarth describes VocoVision as falling into her lap. She said she was able to work part time and then still spend the majority of her time with her kids at home.
“I felt like I was missing a little piece of me and not working with my [deaf and hard of hearing] population of students,” Bozarth said.
Taina Jimenez, a speech language pathologist at VocoVision, interviewed Bozarth for her liaison position within the company and they connected immediately.
“I've seen Jamie grow as a tele practitioner in general and then as a leader as well,” Jimenez said. “I’ve seen her take on projects and present ideas and lead them into a reality.”
Bozarth has taken off with a new monthly meeting, VocoLink, where staff come together to hear a presentation on a particular topic. Bozarth said that it was very well received and had lots of attendees. This sense of community was important to her, so they opened up the presentations to everyone.
Bozarth’s proactive approach is what Jimenez first noticed when they met in 2019.
“You ask Jamie for something today and you're sure that by tomorrow if it's not done, you've got some feedback back from her,” Jimenez said. “She thinks outside the box in terms of ‘we can do this in a better way.’”
The biggest thing for Bozarth is to be able to meet the needs of students in a way that works for them and their district and to see positive growth out of them.
While juggling her position as clinical manager, Bozarth still teaches a small caseload of Nebraska students.
“In the last couple years, I've gotten to see the 3-year-old kiddos that I worked with back when I lived in Nebraska, and now they’re high school and transition age,” she said. “It's been a really good full circle for me to come back to the area.”
While teaching these students, Bozarth also homeschools her two children. With her background in early childhood education, Bozarth has been able to apply methods to both her homeschooling and work with VocoVision.
“So when we went to COVID, and everybody went home, I put on my homeschooling-mom hat,” Bozarth said. “And I was like, OK, these parents are now homeschooling parents. So, how can I talk my parents through how to do what is supposed to happen in this school, in their home environment?”
Bozarth was able to speak to parents on a personal level and helped one of her first graders’ parents because she too was teaching her daughter how to read and had to adapt because of the pandemic. Bozarth offered practical ideas on how to do things at home with the limited materials that the parents had at home because of COVID-19.
Jimenez said Bozarth’s commitment is inspiring and she is an example to educators that are trying to create that balance between work and life.
“Bozarth’s been a pioneer because when she started with us, we didn't have the amount of deaf and hard of hearing teachers that we have now,” Jimenez said.