This is Aaron Lockwood’s first year as an Educational Assistant at Ashland Middle School. He works with students in Lucinda Miftahittin’s and Jennifer Campbell’s self-contained classrooms. About his work, Aaron says, “I know it sounds cliché, but I love working with kids, especially kids who are a little different. I was a nerdy, lonely kid growing up, so I really make an effort to connect with our kids. I want them to feel connected and seen.”

Aaron’s path to AMS was a circuitous one that started on the West Coast and then took him to the East Coast before coming out west again. Born and raised in Pismo Beach, California, Aaron grew up surfing and enjoying the outdoors. He attended college at UC Santa Cruz, studying anthropology, and moved up to Oregon to start graduate school in speech and language pathology at the University of Oregon. Around this time, Aaron met his now long-time partner Josh and together they moved to Maine and then Tennessee. When Josh was hired on as faculty at Southern Oregon University, last summer, Aaron found himself back in Oregon. It didn’t take long for him to find a home at AMS. “There is a good sense of community here at AMS. It feels very inclusive. People seek out to include all kinds of people.” And we hope Aaron will be here for a very long time.