Submitted by Lori Chadwick
Shelly Castiola is most often found with a smile on her face and a happy word for everyone. She has been married for fifteen years. She lives in Southington, as does most of her extended family, including an independent 99-year old grandmother. Shelly has a nine-year son and a set of twins—a boy and a girl, who are four years old. She loves drawing, painting, photography, and attending art shows. A favorite family activity is playing sports outside, particularly swimming and baseball, and going to Red Sox games.
But those who attend Tunxis Community College probably don’t know Shelly the artist, swimmer, or baseball fan. We at Tunxis know Shelly Castiola as one of the Academic Support Center’s friendly proctors who explains and administers the tests to incoming students. Shelly has an extensive background in educational testing and is a valuable member of the ASC staff.
Shelly graduated from Fairfield University in 1996 with a 6th-year degree in School Psychology. While she was a student, Shelly interned with the Trumbull School System at Cooperative Education Services, a program servicing students on the autism spectrum. After graduation, Shelly’s first position was as the school psychologist for Redding Public Schools. She worked primarily with children in pre-school through second grade, administering numerous multi-disciplinary evaluations to identify students with special needs. Shelly also did a considerable amount of counseling with individual students as well as small groups. In addition, Shelly was available for consults with parents to guide them towards assistance to help their children achieve in school.
After seven years with the Redding school system, Shelly accepted a position as a school psychologist with the “Six to Six” magnet school in Bridgeport, CT, where she worked with K-8 students. After two years in Bridgeport, Shelly left to stay home with her twins when they were born. After taking a year off with her little ones, Shelly began working here at Tunxis in 2006 as a part-time proctor.
As a proctor, Shelly is responsible for explaining the placement testing process to students—how it works, what their scores mean, and how the scores will affect their placement. Then she makes sure the students understand how to use the computer for the testing process. Finally, she helps compile results to mail to students. When needed, Shelly also works with Amanda Testo and Cathy Felice assisting students with disabilities who may need accommodations with tests.
Shelly says that after working with children for so many years, she enjoys the new challenges of working with adults. She appreciates that they are motivated to work toward getting a college degree. She also likes the opportunity to help older students who may not be as comfortable with computers, as well as helping students with disabilities with scribing and reading during testing. Shelly enjoys the helpful, calming, nurturing atmosphere in the ASC. She says she really enjoys working with her colleagues, who she describes as a wonderfully supportive and knowledgeable team of professionals.