keanocean annabelle boehmPhoto: Kean Ocean Special Education Advisor Annabelle Boehm

Kean Teaching Graduate Now Teaches Kean Ocean Student How to Become Successful Educators

Toms River, NJ – American Education Week – November 16-22 – is an opportunity to celebrateeducation and honor individuals who are making a difference in ensuring that every student receives a quality education. Kean Ocean Special Education Advisor Annabelle Boehm is one of those individuals.

“Kean Ocean celebrates American Education Week by recognizing Special Education Advisor Annabelle Boehm – whose personal experiences inspired her, at age 40, to become a special education teacher inspiring others to teaching excellence,” said Steve Kubow, Acting Associate Vice President, Kean Ocean.

Boehm, a Kean University alumna, is Kean Ocean’s special education advisor and a full-time lecturer. Kean Ocean is an educational partnership formed between Kean University in Union, NJ and Ocean County College (OCC) in Toms River, NJ, that allows students to earn a Kean University degree on the OCC campus. Kean is the only public university with a campus in Ocean County.

Boehm teaches undergraduate classes for Kean Ocean students who are pursuing a dual certification as a regular and special educator.  As the Special Education Advisor, she also assists students with planning their classes and guiding their choices; and attends open houses to assist perspective students. 

“I wanted to take what I had learned and help others with it; perhaps smooth out their paths to avoid the bumps I had to overcome,” Boehm said. “I now have the unique privilege to shape educators who will affect the lives of future generations; and perhaps inspire that one child to take a risk and/or make the effort.”

During her tenure at Kean Ocean, which began in 2012, she has worked with the Teacher Performance Center in the role of field supervisor for pre-professional and professional field experiences; as well as with Project Excel in advising students on accessing accommodations for professional testing through the Educational Testing Service, and tests students who needed updated educational evaluations.

Boehm, who resides in Middletown, received her Bachelor of Arts degree as Teacher of the Handicapped from Kean University in Union in 1995 – at the age of 45 – and went on to receive a second Kean degree – her Master’s in Education; and also holds certificates in special education, regular elementary education, supervisor, learning disabilities teacher consultant, principal, chief administrator and psychology endorsement.

“Kean prepared me well for this opportunity to help guide the path of future professional educators at Kean Ocean.  I have students who are planning to teach at the elementary, middle and high school levels.  We share our journey and learn from each other.  When my students graduate, I’m confident they will be intelligent, thoughtful educators who will put the student first.  My graduates come back to share their experiences with my present students,” Boehm said.

Boehm identifies her teaching career as her greatest accomplishment – as well as bringing that career full circle as a member of her alma mater’s faculty. Spending the earlier part of her life as a full-time mom to a child born with birth defects – and walking that challenging path with him to watch him become a productive, compassionate man, husband and father – steered Boehm toward the field of teaching and special education.

Students who have completed their associate’s degree can continue on with their studies for a Kean University degree at its Kean Ocean Campus. Kean University degrees are offered graduate and post-graduate levels at its Kean Ocean campus, including Special Education fields, through courses offered in its Gateway Building housed on the OCC campus. The partnership offers the least expensive 4-year undergraduate degree in a single location in New Jersey.