In their own words
Meghan Chapman, Co-Chair
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead
“This is what the SEPAC represents to me. We are a small group of enthusiastic people with generous hearts who want to help bring about change by empowering parents to be strong advocates for their children with disabilities.
“My time, when not devoted directly to my family, is spent volunteering to support the parents, students, and teachers of Woburn through the PTO and SEPAC. I welcome opportunities to help support parents as they navigate the occasionally rocky waters of special education: process and lingo. (I speak IEP!)
“As a member of the board, I look forward to building awareness of the SEPAC so more families will know we are here to support them, to increasing attendance at SEPAC workshops so parents and students can become confident advocates, and to improving our role as advisors to the school department so parents and administrators can work together as a cohesive team.
“My degree in Mass Communication is helpful for writing. My background in project management of both market research studies and web-based communities has provided me with well-honed multi-tasking capabilities. I also have a dash of pre-K instruction experience that reminds me to keep things fun. However, my most important skill set is that of a mom who immersed herself in special education law in an attempt to advocate for her child’s access to a free appropriate public education. And I’m happy to share what I have to offer if it can help other Woburn families.”
Jane Bates, Secretary
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” — Winston Churchill
“I share my life with my husband and our 2 wonderful children, work part-time for the U.S. Department of Transportation, and enjoy volunteering in our community. I currently coordinate the library volunteers at the Reeves Elementary School and book enrichment programs for the Reeves PTO. I enjoy traveling, bike riding, and swimming with my family.
“I will use my time as Secretary to support the mission of the Woburn SEPAC while identifying and sharing resources about special education. I want to learn about how we may improve special education in Woburn, and ensure our parents have access to available tools to effectively advocate for their children’s education.
Adriana Mendes-Sheldon, Treasurer
“I am originally from Brazil. 13 years ago, a job transfer and a fiancé brought me to this country. Together with my husband I have 3 children; a 12 year-old girl and twin six year-old boys, both of whom have special needs.
“Since the birth of my boys, my career has been on hold as I’ve dedicated myself to parenting and strengthening my community through engagement in civic, social and educational initiatives in Woburn. I believe a community in which individuals actively support one another will ultimate thrive and succeed. In my experience, parenting kids with special needs is indeed “brutiful” — brutal, yet beautiful. It can also be isolating. As a board member for the SEPAC, I am thrilled for the opportunity to support and encourage families as they navigate this journey.
“Additionally, I have a degree in Metallurgical Engineering and Master in Business and Management. I speak Portuguese, English and some Spanish and French.”