St. Vrain’s Special Education Department Has a New Coordinator

Paula Avis with her horse, Lyrik
Paula Avis with her horse, Lyrik.

St. Vrain Valley School District is happy to welcome back Pauline “Paula” Avis to the district as the new Special Education Coordinator, replacing Laura Gold. 

Avis brings 12 years experience in K-12 public education to SVVSD. For the past three years, Avis was a Special Education Coordinator in Adams 14. Prior to that, she was a Special Education Teacher and MTSS Coordinator in St. Vrain. She has also taught in Boulder Valley School District and has taught undergraduate literature and writing classes at the University of Colorado. At one point in her life, she was pursuing a doctorate in literary theory from Indiana University and also taught undergraduate classes there in literature, gender studies, and writing. In addition to teaching, she has also worked in a writing lab where she was able to help students (many with IEPs or 504s)  who struggled with college level reading and writing. 

As a lifelong learner, Avis earned her  B.A. and M.A in English Literature from the University of Colorado Boulder. She also has an M.Ed. in Special Education from Regis University and an Ed.S. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Northern Colorado (UNC). She is currently working on her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at UNC and is looking forward to completing her doctorate sometime next year. 

Avis is passionate about working in the education field and feels it’s important to do work that advances social justice. She believes public education is our best hope for doing that. “Throughout my life, I have been an advocate for individuals at risk in a variety of capacities. I bring a good deal of practical experience that is coupled with a deep understanding of special education law,” Avis said. 

Outside of work, Avis is a longtime horsewoman. She enjoys all things horses! Most recently, she has been riding dressage for about 10 years. According to the United States Dressage Federation, “The olympic sport of dressage is derived from the French term meaning “training” and its purpose is to strengthen and supple the horse while maintaining a calm and attentive demeanor.”

Avis spends most of her free time with her horse, Lyrik, but also enjoys yoga. Avis and her partner have a big, blended family that includes six children and three grandchildren. “I would have to say that at this point in my life, I see my children as my greatest achievement. They have all grown into wonderful individuals with compassionate hearts,” Avis said.