John Barrowman originally came from a small town in the Californian foothills of the Rocky Mountains called Auburn. He moved to Oregon to attend college at the University of Oregon where he completed his bachelors degree in psychology and a minor in special education in 2009. It was during his bachelors that he was inspired by a guest lecturer to enroll in a masters program called Project PASS (Preparing Autism Specialists for Schools). The instructors of the program sought to train and equip educators with the various tools and strategies needed to support students experiencing autism in schools and the community. He completed Project PASS in 2010 and completed a licensure program for early childhood special education/early intervention and his masters in 2011. After completing school in 2011, John moved to Alaska and remained in the Northwest Arctic region working in schools as an intensive needs special education teacher and traveled to support students in the outlying villages for four years. He enjoys fishing, hiking, and cooking with his dog.
Samantha Weiland grew up in Clearwater, Florida, as an avid horseback rider and a volunteer for various programs working with individuals with special needs. Combining these two passions, she attended St. Andrews University in North Carolina and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Therapeutic Horsemanship in 2004. After graduation, the premier Therapeutic Horseback Riding program, Equest of Dallas, Texas, recruited Samantha as an Advanced Instructor. In addition, Samantha served as Head of Area 10 Equestrian Special Olympics. A desire to expand her knowledge, skills and effectiveness as an educator, Samantha enrolled in Mary Baldwin College in Virginia. In 2010, Samantha earned her Master of Arts in teaching Special Education. For the past 6 years Samantha has focused her teaching on students with Autism, Learning Disabilities, ADD/HD, and Anxiety Disorders both in traditional classroom setting and one on one. Part of her teaching experience included a year of teaching in Twin Hills, Alaska. Samantha is excited to join the SESA team and provide creative educational opportunities for students in Alaska.
Shane Phillips grew up in Michigan attended university in Illinois and moved to Alaska in 2018. Shane attended Southern Illinois University and earned a B.S. in Special Education. During his time at SIU Shane was the President of the Student Council for Exceptional Children and participated in events that advocated for individuals with disabilities. After earning his degree Shane taught for two years in Southeast Alaska. In his free time Shane enjoys hiking hockey biking and being outside. Shane is very excited to be joining SESA and helping individuals with Autism all over the state of Alaska.
Brian Babcock moved to Alaska in 2003. Originally from Massachusetts, Brian received a his Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Prior to teaching, Brian held positions in the field of community mental health in Oakland, CA (Seneca Center) and Anchorage (Denali Family Services). Counseling children with severe emotional disturbances, Brian provided support to children and families in both clinical and community-based settings. In 2005 Brian traveled to Thailand to teach K-2nd grades at an English Immersion school located in the farming community of Nan. Upon returning to Alaska two years later, Brian accepted a Social Service Specialist position with the Anchorage School District’s Migrant Education Program, where he worked for seven years as an advocate for children and families. In 2015, Brian received his Masters of Education in Special Education from the University of Alaska, Anchorage. Prior to joining SESA, Brian was a resource teacher at Denali Montessori Elementary School. Working with K-6 grade students, his teaching focused on students with specific learning disabilities, emotional disturbances, autism and other health impairments. Brian enjoys fishing, hunting and playing ice hockey during his free time.