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Feb. 22, 2004

Bisselle, Dianne

by Varun Gulati, Page Editor

Name: Dianne Bisselle
Department: Special Education.
Education: Undergraduate degree in General Business Administration from Michigan State University; Masters degree in Business from Marymount University; Masters degree in Special Education-Mild to Moderate Disabilities from John Hopkins University.
Year started at Blair: 2003
Previous Jobs: Trader for Lang & Company in Washington D.C.; worked for Signet Bank; long-term 5th grade substitute teacher at the Regional Institute for Children and Adolescents (RICA) in Rockville, Maryland.
Hobbies: Reading novels, magazines and newspapers; bike riding with kids; playing Frisbee with her two Labradors; snow-skiing.
Extra-Curricular: none


Wearing green overalls, Dianne Bisselle sits calmly in a swivel chair, working quietly at her desk. Bisselle's shoulder length hair is reminiscent of honey. Her glasses surrender to the complexion of her face, making them seemingly invisible.

Bisselle had wanted to be a teacher since she was a teenager. However, her passion for teaching special education students began when she was substituting at the Regional Institute for Children and Adolescents (RICA), a school for students with severe emotional disabilities. "At first, I wasn't sure if I could work in an environment like that because it was very structured, very strict," Bisselle says. "But what I saw is, these kids wanted to learn! I just fell in love with them."

Bisselle is a mother of three boys; two of them are 14-year-old twins. The news of twins came as a surprise to her. "Having found out that I was pregnant with twins was interesting," says Bisselle. "There was not just one but two!" As a mom, Bisselle is an active PTA member and enjoys watching her kids play football for their church team.

Bisselle grew up in Michigan, where she was always on the move two hours in and out of the Detroit area. Although her father frequently changed jobs, Bisselle says the moving benefited her in the end. "I think it made me stronger," she says. "I was not in one place my whole life. I had different groups of friends in all the different places we lived."

Bisselle's father encouraged her to major in business. When she graduated from Michigan State University, Michigan was in a depression. "It was tough finding a job," says Bisselle. One of Bisselle's friends in Arlington, Virginia invited her to stay the summer with her so she could find a job.

Within two weeks, Lang & Company, a brokerage firm that at the time was hiring people fresh out of college, hired Bisselle. Bisselle found this to be a wonderful experience. "I made a good group of friends, and got to learn the brokerage business first hand," she says.

As a trader for Lang & Company, Bisselle would get clients' orders, call representatives on the stock exchange floor, and call the client back when the order was filled. "I got the experience, being right on the floor and understanding how that works very well," says Bisselle.

Bisselle met her future husband in the brokerage business. After getting married, she decided to settle in the Northeast region. "I really liked the area," she says. Later in her life, she moved from Arlington to Rockville, and then to Gaithersburg, where she currently resides.

Bisselle left her job with Lang & Company to move into the banking business with Signet Bank, who offered to pay for her Master's in business. "I couldn't turn that down," she says emphatically.

After getting her degree from Marymount University, Bisselle gave birth to twins. Bisselle was uncomfortable with leaving twin babies at home, but she couldn't afford daycare. So, she decided to leave her job at the bank and raise her children at home. "They were so young and little and everything," she says with a hint of compassion in her voice.

Bisselle became a full-time teacher this year. In July, she started doing job interviews, applying to Blair as well as two other schools. Bisselle says she chose Blair because it seemed to be a dynamic school with a very large program. "I wanted to be exposed to many different types of students, which this school certainly offers," she says.




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  • Chels on February 22, 2004
    Great job varun!! Way to lead into your SC online career :)
  • =D (View Email) on February 24, 2004
    YAY, VARUN!!
  • hollerrr (View Email) on February 24, 2004
    hey my lil bafooooon...aww u wrote an article about the vaccuum cleaner lady...how cute...ur a good writer...
  • bhav (View Email) on February 28, 2004
    all i gotta say is, varun u are a smartie and are DEF goin places sweetie! =)
  • Ekta on February 29, 2004
    Way to go Varun!! ;) Love ur story and ur teacher :D
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