My name is Paula Krone. I am an attorney, civil mediator, instructor of mathematics, and mother of an adult son with developmental disabilities. Currently, I am earning my living as a math instructor at Georgia Gwinnett College. However, I also mediate landlord tenant disputes in Fulton County Dispossessory Court during the summer months. While one would assume that being an instructor of mathematics is my full time job, it is actually only one of my full time jobs. Being a parent of an adult son with developmental disabilities is my other full time job.
Together with his dad, I have worked relentlessly to see to it that my son could live many years beyond expectancy and live them well. My son, who is not able to walk or talk, who is blind, who has intellectual disabilities, who has a seizure disorder, and who is medically fragile, is now 22. He lives an active life, and is loved by many. My son is living the best life possible, and that is the greatest accomplishment of mine.
Since 2011, I have served as a full time faculty member at Georgia Gwinnett College, where I teach pre-college algebra, college algebra, pre-calculus and calculus. Prior to 2011, I taught mathematics in a K-12 environment and earned my M.S. Ed in mathematics. I moved from education to technology and held multiple corporate positions, including 8 years as a manager of systems programmers in an IBM mainframe environment. During the time I spent as a corporate manager, I attended Fordham University School of Law and earned by J.D. degree. As an attorney, I practiced Business and Technology Law, and I served for two years as the Chair of the Management Information Systems Committee of the State Bar of Georgia, where I helped the Bar transition through “Y2K.” Y2K (Year 2000) was a software upgrade that many companies and organizations needed to go through in order to assure that when the year 2000 arrived, the software that had previously used only two digits for the year (“00”) would not think it was the year 1900. I have also taught numerous law-related courses in higher education, and I have served as a mediator for special education and charter school disputes.
Whether I am in a faculty position, a management position, an attorney position, or in any other professional role, I strive to make a positive difference in the lives of the people I serve. For example, when I teach mathematics to freshmen in college, I go beyond teaching mathematics and teach students how to learn. It is important to me that, as a result of taking my class, students can move on and be successful in future classes. The ultimate success of my students is more important to me than the grade they earn in my class. Whether I have students, customers, or clients, I am there to serve them and to make their lives better, even in some small way.
Thankfully, I have reached a point in my life where a career is less important than making a difference in the world. When I took LT8100, Foundations of Instructional Design, I was required to research and write a paper about a case study in Instructional Design. I chose the topic “Using simulations to train medical professionals to be empathetic toward patients with intellectual disabilities.” Ever since then, it has been clear to me that I want to move in the direction of training various parts of society, including but not limited to the medical field, to serve people with intellectual and physical disabilities. Due to the roles as parent and advocate for my son over the past two decades, my knowledge about the challenges of people with disabilities in society has become extensive. I hope that I will be able to combine this with my teaching skills, instructional design and technology skills, management skills, and legal skills, so that I can be a leader in this pursuit.
My favorite hobby is writing songs, playing guitar and singing. I recently bought myself a professional microphone, mic stand with a boom, and Cube® street amp. When I can find a few minutes to spare, I take out my guitar, hook it up to the amp, turn on the microphone, and away I go into an alternate world without a care. While, thus far, my audiences consist only of my son, I can assure you that I have been getting great reviews. He may not be able to clap, but his smile is all I need to make my day.