Special Education

Meet the amazing South Lakewood Elementary Special Education team!

team picture

Shelby Carranza- Learning Specialist Grades: K, 4th, 5th

 My name is Shelby Carranza and I am one of the Learning Specialists here at South Lakewood Elementary. This year I will be supporting your child in growing, learning, as well as facilitating the IEP process. This is my third and a half school year at South Lakewood.  I graduated from the Special Education program with my Bachelor’s degree from Metropolitan State University of Denver. I am very excited to learn about your students this year and help them grow. My main goals are to help students be successful, support them in achieving their goals, and love learning!

Shelby can be reached by email at  [email protected]  

Amy Gilbert- Learning Specialist Grades: 1st, 2nd, 3rd

My name is Amy Gilbert. I am a graduate of Metro State University and the University of Northern Colorado, this will be my 3rd year teaching here at South Lakewood as a Learning Specialist. My 8th year teaching in Colorado. I have lived in Colorado my whole life! I have a wonderful family with two boys (9 & 11). I love having adventures all around the world, camping, kayaking, swimming, biking, watching my boys play sports and cheering on the Broncos, Rockies, and Nuggets. My goal this year is to advocate for your child, grow your child’s mindset all while having fun teaching reading, writing, and math. 

Amy can be reached by email at [email protected]

Anita Encinias- Mental Health Provider

Hello, Panthers and families! My name is Anita Encinias, Mrs. E, and I am the School Social Worker or also referred to as the Mental Health Provider. I am full time at SLE and work with the general population on Mondays and Wednesdays and in the ASD center program on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. 

This is my 6th year at SLE and 9th year in the district. Prior to school social work, I worked with high-risk youth in the Juvenile Justus system for 4 1/2 years. I truly believe it takes a village to guide young minds and being mindful of the whole picture, family and community, along with education make kids successful. Building up social-emotional skills makes strong learners in the classroom! 

Anita A. Encinias, MSW

[email protected]

Voicemail 303.982.2740

Anita can be reached by email at [email protected]

Maura Sweeney- Speech-Language Pathologist

Hello! My name is Maura Sweeney, South Lakewood Elementary’s Speech-Language Pathologist for the 2019-2020 school year. A little about me: I attended the University of Colorado and then Northwestern University, where I earned my Master’s degree. I am from Illinois

originally, but I recently returned to Colorado after living in Chicago for a few years. I love the outdoors, reading, and playing the sport of hurling. I am very excited to be at SLE this year! If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to me at [email protected] 

Jody Koca- Occupational Therapist

Hello, my name is Jody M. Koca and I am the Occupational Therapist assigned to your school this year. I have been a Pediatric Occupational Therapist since I graduated from Colorado State University in 1996. I am deeply passionate about and a very devoted believer of the benefits of a Sensory Integrative Approach to addressing a child’s needs and received my Sensory Certification early in my OT career. I have been a full time, school-based therapist with Jefferson County Public Schools since 1999 where I continue to provide services to children in many of the central schools. During summer breaks I have enjoyed traveling to New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Fiji, France, Denmark, Holland, Germany, Belize, Italy, Hawaii, Jamaica, Tahiti, Cozumel and to Costa Rica. I have had the pleasure of working for Cherry Creek Schools, The Children’s Hospital, Developmental Disabilities Resource Center, Developmental Pathways and Adam’s Camp. I have also provided private, in-home therapy as well. I love camping, fishing, hiking, in-line skating, swimming, gardening, sewing and crafts, and scuba diving.