Drew Harvick and senior Kathleen Tomlinson work on assignments during fourth period English on Sept 28. Harvick gets the opportunity to work with students in small group settings and individually. (Eyesha Sadiq)
Drew Harvick and senior Kathleen Tomlinson work on assignments during fourth period English on Sept 28. Harvick gets the opportunity to work with students in small group settings and individually.

Eyesha Sadiq

Flying back into the new school year

September 30, 2022

After years of teaching in the special education department, Drew Harvick had one goal she wanted to complete: travel and teach abroad. Last year, she finally had the chance to leave Hebron and go to Thailand to teach in the special education department. When she got engaged, she knew it was time to head back home, and began working at Hebron again this fall.

Since she was young, Harvick always wanted to be a special education teacher. She has a background in applied behavior analysis, and works with students who are on the autism spectrum and have learning disabilities. 

“Being a special education [teacher] is 10 trillion times more fun [than being in a regular class],” Harvick said. “My favorite thing about my job is that I laugh every single day. I like to see the progression made; I feel as though I see more progress being made in a year working with kids with learning difficulties than I do regular classrooms.”

Most of the places Harvick looked to work for were in Asia. She wanted to see Japan and learn about Asian culture. 

“I was at a point in my life where I had all the freedom and autonomy to [go to Thailand],” Harvick said. “I was looking into South Korea, China, Taiwan, Thailand and some in South America. I was really excited to go to Asia because Japan has always been my [dream] destination.” 

Harvick was the head of special education for Chiang Mai International School (CMIS) in Thailand. She taught students from all over the world. 

“A lot of my students were children of missionary families,” Harvick said. “Others were children of government employees like consulate members and things like that. There’s still a need for special education all over the world, and I think it’s important to recognize that you can live your life however you want. For me, part of that was going to Thailand.”

This year, Harvick is teaching English 3 and 4 classes. Students who qualify for special education can also come to Harvick to work in smaller settings.

“Whenever I go into [the] classroom, she’s always very engaged with the students, and she [can easily] relate to them,” assistant principal Jacquelyn Kushnir said. “She also holds them accountable and she has high expectations. [The students] seem to really enjoy her as a teacher.”

Having around 20 teachers in the special education department has made the staff closer over the years. Some teachers Harvick has become close to are Kathy Beasly and Karen Robinson.

“She really connected with me when she came here as a teacher, and we’ve always been there for each other,” Beasley said. “She went through a lot before she left for Thailand. She surprised me with things [when] she didn’t work here. It was [my] birthday and I got flowers [from her]. She’s done a lot of caring and sweet things to let me know she cares about me.”

After getting engaged and moving from Thailand, Harvick plans on staying a special education teacher at Hebron. 

“I can’t imagine working elsewhere,” Harvick said. “[My students and co-workers] are my favorite part of the job, and I really love how diverse Hebron is. [There are] so many different people here from so many different walks of life. When you’ve seen that firsthand, nothing else compares.”

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