Occupational Therapy

Mission Statement

  • Occupational therapy is a profession that aims to assist individuals to do the things they need and want to do through daily activities, also known as “occupations”. This can include improving, maintaining, developing, or returning skills that have been impacted by either illness, injury, or disability. The main goal of occupational therapy is to allow individuals to live life to their fullest. In the school system, occupational therapy is considered a related service, with the targeted outcome to support a student’s ability to participate in daily school activities at his or her maximal potential. These can include the “occupations” of education, social participation, and play. School-based occupational therapist practitioners support inclusion, strategies for academic achievement, and overall engagement in the educational environment. They work with the education team to promote student success and independence. School-based occupational therapy is available for students who are eligible through exceptional student education and evaluation. 


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Jessica Plescia

Jessica Plescia is the occupational therapist for Hendry County School District. She graduated in 2011 from Florida Gulf Coast University with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Community Health and a minor in Business Management. She graduated with her Master’s of Science degree in Occupational Therapy in 2013. Jessica has worked in a variety of settings including skilled nursing with the geriatric population, school systems with children, and teaching at Keiser University for the Occupational Therapy Assistant program. She began working for the district during the 2019-2020 school year. Jessica's goal is to ensure that students get their needs met while promoting independence and having fun!

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Heidi Donley, COTA/L

Heidi Donley has been with Hendry County School District since July 2015 and prior to that was an intern for the district for completion of her AA degree.  She has obtained a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (2021), a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Health (2020), Associates in Occupational Therapy (2015), and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology (2002). She has always had an interest in helping others gain their full potential by turning their inabilities into strong abilities and collaborating with her peers to replace functional limitations with functional independence. Her passion for Sensory Processing Dysfunction (SPD) has helped start her journey in becoming certified in Sensory Integration, with plans of establishing a variety of tools that can be utilized throughout various environments to meet the needs of students with SPD. She also has long-term goals of formulating outreach centers for students transitioning from high school into the community for improved function and an increased meaningful quality of life as a student with disability aging through their life cycle. She has also been a major advocate for future occupational therapy clinicians with hosting over 40 Level I and Level II student interns from a variety of universities as a fieldwork educator. When Heidi is not working, she enjoys spending time with her two children, organizing, crafting, thrifting, and helping others within her community. 

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Martha Cruz, COTA/L

Martha Cruz is an occupational therapy assistant who has worked with the Hendry County school district since the 2017-2018 school year.  She graduated from Keiser University in 2016 with an associate's degree in occupational therapy and also has a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Martha has pediatric experience in both outpatient and school settings. Martha enjoys working with children because their favorite form of learning is through play.

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Taylor Crupper, COTA/L

Taylor Crupper has been working as an Occupational Therapist Assistant for 5 years for Hendry County Schools. She was born and raised in Labelle and graduated from Keiser University in Fort Myers in 2015. She is passionate about serving and advocating for the students from the town that she grew up in.