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Wes Cantrell

Early Childhood Special Education Teacher

“My personal and professional goal with every child I see is to encourage them to laugh and/or smile,” said Wes Cantrell, a Rainbows’ Early Childhood Special Education Teacher since 2000. “My favorite part of my job is seeing children and caregivers laugh/smile; and enjoy the simple things in life.”

“Everyone needs a ‘Wes’ to be a part of their team” said Kayla Cary, Sedgwick County Infant/Toddler Services Coordinator. “He always has something funny up his sleeve that you can’t help smile or laugh at. His families and co-workers I’m sure would all agree that his humor and talents help lighten their moods, which can lead to increased creativity in home visits and in the office. He is always up for good laugh which helps make the day much more enjoyable!”

Wes did his undergraduate work at Fort Hays State University. During this time, he volunteered for Special Olympics and from then on, he has always enjoyed working with adults and children with special needs.

He has a bachelor’s degree in Health, Physical Education and Recreation from Fort Hays State University and a master’s degree from Emporia State University in Early Childhood Development with an emphasis in Down Syndrome.

“I go into the homes and child care centers to work on whatever the child’s needs are. I encourage caregivers to enjoy the small developmental steps,” said Wes. He says his biggest achievement at Rainbows is knowing he is making a positive difference in the lives of children and adults he works with, as he provides early intervention therapy.

While Wes has years of experience, he is quick to appreciate all the staff he has been privileged to work with over the past 20+ years.

When he’s not at Rainbows, he enjoys traveling, fishing, scuba diving, and being with his family and friends. He is also involved in the music ministry at his church.

A couple of his favorite quotes by Chuck Swindoll are:
“Life is 10% what happens to me, and 90% how I react to it…we are in charge of our attitudes.”
“We cannot change the past, and we can’t predict the future, so live NOW.”

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