This great little place called home- Annie Hensley

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By Allyson Pebsworth
Staff Reporter

Annamarie Hensley, more commonly known in town as Annie, has been working in the Special Education field and helping students reach their potential for 20 years.
Annie earned her Bachelor’s Degree at Southern Arkansas University at Magnolia, where she met and married her husband, Shannon Hensley, and became a Texas Special Education Teacher in 1997. She worked in a middle school while living in Silsbee for six years before moving to Bowie County.
Having family in the Little Rock and Dallas areas, Annie says she and Shannon, who has been the band director at Simms ISD for 14 years, decided to make the move, finding, “This great little place,” which the family has now called home for over a decade. She and Shannon have three sons, David and Daniel who graduated from Simms ISD, and James who is currently a sophomore at James Bowie.
After performing her job as the Special Education Teacher for 12 years at James Bowie High School, where she taught subjects English and Math, she became an Educational Diagnostician with the Western Bowie County Shared Services Arrangement in New Boston. The WBCSSA currently covers nine school districts, Avery, Red Lick, Leary, Hubbard, DeKalb, New Boston, Simms, Hooks, and Malta.
In order to become an Educational Diagnostician, one must have three years of experience as a Special Education Teacher, obtain a Master’s Degree in Special Education (Annie completed hers at Texas A&M University - Texarkana), as well as a Diagnostician Certificate.
Transitioning from her teaching position to the new role has proved to be challenging but rewarding for Annie, “I’m learning a lot of new things. Being a Special Education Teacher in the high school was getting to be routine even though every student is different and you have to do different things with different kids. This is a totally new experience to make sure everything is right, there are a lot of legal aspects that have to be followed.”
For the last two years, Annie has worked at both Simms ISD and Leary ISD helping students of all ages by assessing/diagnosing their needs, making educational plans for success, progress followups and many more duties. She works aiding children with a range of special needs from Autism, behavioral disorders, auditory issues, and many more.
The passion Annie has for her work and the students she helps is apparent in her statement, “It makes you smile when you know that they are doing well and enjoying their life. That’s what it’s all about.”


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