Bonnie Shinliver: Celebrating 30 Years of Compassion

Bonnie started off her career with the Santa Cruz County Office of Education working for two years as a substitute aide before becoming a full-time instructional aide. For the next seven years, she worked in preschool, elementary, middle, and high school ED, as well as moderate to severe special-education classrooms. In 2001, Bonnie started working with the High School and Post-Senior Special Education Programs. She is currently a Senior Instructional Aide at the Cabrillo Post Senior Program where she is loved and respected by her students and colleagues!

Bonnie is passionate about working with the young adult students in the Post Senior program and has spent countless hours over the past three decades supporting students in the classroom, at their job sites, on the metro bus (oh, the many stories she has), while taking APE classes at Cabrillo, and while exploring the community! Bonnie always leads by example and is able to relate to students on a personal level, whether a student is working on learning budgeting skills or maybe just having a hard morning. She always meets students where they are at, but isn’t afraid to challenge them when she sees potential; we have seen many students grow in their maturity and independence because of Bonnie’s guidance and support.

Bonnie’s coworkers would describe her as kind, patient, generous, compassionate, gentle, loving, good sense of humor, positive attitude, and always a team player. The special education program has been blessed to have Bonnie in our classrooms, and her commitment and dedication to the well-being of our students is an inspiration!

Bonnie’s care towards others goes beyond the students and the classroom. She is always supportive and caring towards her co-workers and has helped many people get through difficult times over the years with her personalized greeting cards and acts of kindness. Bonnie is someone that generates light and love in our program, through the good times and the challenging ones. Congrats on 30 years, and more to come!