Special Education Teams

Special Education Team

Special Education Team–Providing services that foster success!

Primary SPED Teachers

Primary SPED TA's

  • Ms. Erendina Valenzuela (Lifeskills)
  • Ms. Monique Ygnacio (Lifeskills)
  • Ms. Ruba Kassab (Lifeskills)
  • Christopher Lozano (SCORES)
  • Ms. Casha Huizar (SCORES)
  • Ms. Mirtala Valadez (Bilingual)
  • Ms. Yaneisy Matos (Bilingual)
  • Ms. Mireille Mezher
  • Ms. Guadalupe Subias

Intermediate SPED Teachers

Intermediate SPED TA's

Ms. Harkins

I am a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a certification in both Sped and PE. I also hold a MA in Education from Texas State University and a MA in Nutrition from Logan University. My husband and I have four children, three dogs, two guinea pigs, and four rabbits. Our family loves being active.  We often workout, go on hikes, bike, run, and swim. This will be my 11th year teaching with AISD.

My goal is to provide students with the opportunities to learn all they can during their year based upon the expectations of Austin ISD curriculum for the 2022/23 school year. In addition, I want to support and grow their individual learning styles, support their emotional growth and help them work within a learning community.

​Ms. Arredondo

Hi My name is Amy Arredondo. I have been an educator for over 15 years. I am originally from the Corpus Christi area and came to Austin after graduating from A&M Corpus Christi. I have 2 children who keep me busy. I am looking forward to an amazing 22-23 school year! 

​Here are some of my FAVORITE things:

  • Color: Blue
  • Book: Where the Red Fern Grows
  • Food: Steak
  • Hobbies: Softball
  • Music: Everything
  • Sports Team: Cowboys
  • Subject in school as a child: PE

Ms. Hernandez

¡Hola a todos! Es un honor para mí ser parte de la comunidad de Blazier y de empezar mi segundo año de maestra aquí. Yo soy originalmente de Chicago, pero me mudé a San Antonio con mi familia a la edad de 8 años. Texas es mi hogar y gracias a una oportunidad de obtener mi maestría en Educación Especial en UT Austin en el 2020, Austin también se ha convertido en mi hogar. ¡Estoy muy emocionada de empezar este año escolar lleno de  alegría, aprendizaje y crecimiento! 
Hello everyone! I feel very fortunate to be a part of the Blazier family and to start my 2nd year of teaching here. I am originally from Chicago, but moved to San Antonio with my family at the age of 8. Texas is home now and thanks to an opportunity to complete my graduate degree in Early Childhood Special Education at UT Austin in 2020, Austin is now my home. I am extremely excited for a year of joy, learning and growth!

Ms. Agan

Hi there! My name is Kaitlyn Agan. I started my teaching career in Austin ISD 3 years ago and am now starting my 3rd year at Blazier! I teach inclusion/resource special education, which means I collaborate with general education teachers to support students in their classroom while also working with students in a small group for individualized support. Since I was a child, I have always envisioned myself as a teacher. My favorite subjects were social studies because of how engaging my teachers made it and math because of how straight forward it is. As a teacher now, I strive to develop a strong family-student-school relationship and support student growth with responsive and data-based instruction. My favorite part of being a teacher is how every day is an adventure filled with fun and positive things to come. 
Away from school, I enjoy being outside-hiking or on the water, reading, cooking, exercising, traveling, and being with friends or my family in Houston. I recently completed my Master's in Special Education in August from UT. Hook ‘em! Before coming to Austin, I graduated with a Bachelor’s in Special Education at the University of Missouri. MIZ! With my family, I have lived in the suburbs of Chicago, Southern California, Northern California, and Oklahoma. 

Ms. Fleming

My name is Kristin Fleming and this is my 11th year teaching at Blazier. I am a 2007 graduate of Texas Tech University with a Bachelor of Science in Multidisciplinary Studies (Go Red Raiders!). While I have taught 3rd, 4th and 5th grade, this will be my first year as a Special Education teacher. I am very excited and ready for a fantastic year!

Here are some of my FAVORITE things:

  • Color: Pink, Purple, Aqua
  • Book: Eat, Pray, Love
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns
  • Food: Sushi and Mexican
  • Hobbies: Spending time with my husband, playing with my 2 children, watching movies, playing with my 3 cats 
  • Sports Team: Texas Rangers, Dallas Cowboys
  • Subject in school as a child: Reading and Writing
  • Tv Show: So You Think You Can Dance, Project Runway, Top Chef
  • Vacation Spot: Hawaii or Clearwater, Florida
  • Candy: Reese's Peanut Butter Cups!

Ms. Platero

I came from the Philippines  

I have been teaching for 8 years already, i have been in various voluntary works to spread awareness about Special Education in the Philippines, I am able to attend international summits and conferences for teachers to become more effective and efficient for my students.

I love spending time with my family and going on vacations. I love trying different kinds of food delicacies when going to different places. My favorite color is yellow, my favorite flower is tulips and I love watching movies.

I will be the SCORES teacher at the intermediate level.

​I am excited to meet with all of you and working working with you for the upcoming school year. 

​Ms. Baltisberger

I am a graduate of Texas State University, and I am certified in SPED and ELAR. While this is my first year teaching at Blazier, this is my fourth year teaching SPED, and I previously worked with Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired as a Residential Instructor. I have been married for eleven years, and have a wonderful daughter who attends Blazier. We have a pug named La Contessa Frijoles, and a Ball Python named Ash. When not at school helping students, I help my husband run our own little publishing company, working with many amazing authors across the world to bring new books to anyone who loves reading.

My goal is to meet students where they are at and helping them develop the tools they need to succeed both academically and socially. It is important to me to build students' confidence and support each child's individual learning styles and needs.

Megan Coronado

My name is Megan Coronado, I was born and raised in the Austin area. I received my bachelor's of science degree with a focus in early childhood through 12th grade special education from Texas State University. I am currently obtaining my master's degree in low incidence disabilities.

This will be my 10th year working in Austin ISD. I worked as a life skills teacher for 5 years and then as a special education specialist for 3 years. Last year, I transitioned back into the classroom; my heart and passion is working with students.

When I am not working, I spend my time with my family. My husband and I were blessed with 2 amazing kiddos, Isabella (7) and Logan (1). We love to go camping, hiking, playing softball and enjoying the water.  

Ms. Freeman

Hi there! My name is Iris Freeman and I’ve spent the past 5 years working as a Travel Speech-Language Pathologist throughout Texas, Colorado, and California. I completed by Bachelor's degree at Texas State University and my Master's at Texas A&M-University Kingsville. My primary areas of professional interest include early language development (syntax!) and Alternative and Augmentative Communication/Assistive Technology.  

In my free time I enjoy thrifting, reading, hiking, and finding the cheapest flight to anywhere for a weekend adventure. My guiltiest pleasure is how invested I am in Love Island and I’m also on the hunt for the most delicious cinnamon roll in Austin.    

I am absolutely thrilled to be joining the Blazier team this year and I am committed to helping every child find their voice!

Ms. Torriente

I am entering my fourth year as a speech-language pathologist with AISD and I love it. I studied at UT Austin for my graduate degree (including leveling courses) and my bachelor's degree in psychology. My passions as an SLP are multiculturalism, language, and augmentative/alternative communication (AAC). It's important to me that my students feel empowered to communicate what is important to them and become critical thinkers in our world to the greatest extent possible. I have a two-year-old daughter, Jade, who is the light of my life and I am currently pregnant with my second daughter who is due in October (name suggestions?). My dogs, Sasha and Olive, are lab mixes who are 7-years-old and I have had them since they were tiny. My favorite things are fruit popsicles, coffee, books, taking care of my plants, Target, and spending time with my daughter. 

Ms. Dolce

My name is Marie Dolce. I was born and raised in Ohio. I received my master’s degree in speech-language pathology from Ohio University.
In my free time I love thrift shopping! I look forward to bringing my passion for helping students achieve to Blazier Elementary this school this year!