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Spotlight On...Speech Pathologist Angela Vandeventer

One thing I’ve really enjoyed is watching students be successful. The look they get on their faces, is something I keep striving for.


Speech Pathologist Angela Vandeventer grew up in Ottawa, Kansas as one of two children to a teacher who became a librarian mom. Angela wasn’t a lifelong devotee to pursuing education as a career; quite the opposite. She admits because her mom was the 4th grade teacher at her school, she really didn’t want to pursue the same path. Angela decided upon attending the University of Kansas, where she pursued communication studies. She knew she was interested in communication, but after a job at an advertising agency she decided to go back to school. Remembering her younger sister needed speech therapy as a child and after researching career paths, the idea began to form.


“I was looking for a more fulfilling role in terms of helping people. Knowing I didn’t want to go into classroom teaching, I began exploring speech therapy. I liked the fact that I could go into education or be in a hospital setting. It afforded me a lot of options,” she says. 


Angela’s first position out of grad school at Rockhurst University was in a school setting. She says Rockhurst didn’t have a clinic on campus, so ll her practicum experience was in a preschool, elementary school and an acute care hospital.  She enjoyed all of the settings in which she worked, but realized that it was harder to form relationships in a healthcare setting. Additionally, having children of her own, Angela related to children. 


One of her early experiences was working in an inner-city school, which Angela valued. “I felt like I was learning and learning, and being exposed to environments that I hadn’t been exposed to. And it was really interesting.”


Angela became interested in teletherapy around 2017. She started off by mixing in-person and teletherapy and now solely works online. She says teletherapy affords her the opportunity to work with a variety of age populations, caseloads and schools. Also a big draw of teletherapy?


“I like doing my job. I like the students and the work. But I don’t enjoy bus duty. I don’t enjoy doing lunch duty. This way I can just focus on my work,” she laughs. 


Overall, Angela concurs she is happy with her choice to go into speech therapy. “Every day is a new day with new experiences and new challenges.” In the words of Forrest Gump, ‘you never know what you’re going to get.’ "


What are you most proud of?
My perseverance. My work is challenging but I don’t easily give up. I have four kids and a demanding career, so there’s always a challenge to overcome.

Is there a specific challenge you’ve had to overcome in your career?
I had a student with a cochlear implant who transferred to  a charter school with me being his main support person. Through a lot of advocacy and reaching out for help from others, we worked to get him into the Kansas School for the Deaf and I have heard he is thriving.  It took almost a whole school year, but it happened.  

What have your students taught you?
I’m sure they’ve taught me a lot! But I think some students just teach you to be adaptable and try something new when what you are doing is not working. Sometimes, I just have to go back to the drawing board. I’ve learned I’m going to do my absolute best with every student and ask for help when I need it. 

How do you Live Inspired?
I like to unplug. Getting out in nature is very therapeutic. My sister and I hiked the narrows of Zion National Park and we made it 13 miles to where we wanted to go. Doing things like that just give me satisfaction and confidence.