Matthew Speak is a new addition to the special education department. This is his fifteenth year teaching, but it’s his first year teaching at Bettendorf High School. He started his teaching career in Los Angeles, California.
Before teaching, Speak worked as a counselor in a group home in Los Angeles. The group home was affiliated with a school for kids with behavior disorders. After a couple of years, he moved to the school and became a behavior specialist.
“While there, I saw the amazing work being done by the Special Ed teachers at that school and felt a calling to do it too,” said Speak.
Also, before teaching, Speak was a struggling actor trying to make it in Hollywood.
Speak grew up in Bettendorf and graduated from Bettendorf High School. The cost of living in Iowa was a lot cheaper than in Los Angeles, so he and his wife decided to move their family here. Then, there was an opening at the high school, he applied, and got the job.
He is excited that his family is finally settled and feeling at home.
“It’s been a challenging and interesting year so far. No two days are exactly the same,” said Speak.
Not only is he a teacher, but also a published writer with two published novels and a third one on its way. All are based here in Bettendorf, Iowa.