ACSA’s Special Education Academy is designed to provide school administrators the opportunity to learn about the field from A to Z.
“This series of seminars is planned to ensure that every special education administrator hears the most critical information needed to be successful in their position,” said Maureen Burness, retired SELPA administrator and Sacramento academy co-director. “Presenters are knowledgeable, helpful, specific, and bring information necessary for success of today’s special education leaders.”
The Special education Academy is offered this year in Sacramento, North Hills and Alhambra, providing 70 hours of professional development over seven weekends. With CTC approval, the academy hours may be used to fulfill a portion of ATP practicum or fieldwork toward a Tier 2 administrative credential.
The Special Education Academy integrates the principles of organization and cultural environment, dynamics of strategic issues management, ethical and reflective leadership, analysis and development of public policy, and management of information systems and human and fiscal resources.
“Professionals from all around the state come together for a series of seven well organized weekends providing the most up to date special education information,” said Diane Youtsey, a consultant and Sacramento co-director. “Attorneys and experts from the field with vast knowledge on multiple topics commit their time to ensure academy attendees walk away with an in-depth understanding of special education.”
In addition, Youtsey pointed out academy participation builds a strong network of colleagues to call upon.
“The academy-type forum establishes a network that has proved priceless when administrators are faced with a particular issue,” she said.
The academy addresses all levels and areas of responsibility though a consistent focus on leadership. Like all ACSA Academies, it provides a solid foundation of training in the application of management fundamentals for seasoned, new or aspiring administrators.
“I have been in the field of special education for 36 years, and every time I listened to a presenter at the ACSA Special Education Academy, I learned at least one new thing,” said Kim Hopko, special education director with the Los Angeles COE and a co-director of the Alhambra academy for two years with SELPA Director Gail Crotty. “The field is evolving at a rapid pace with every new law and lawsuit, so as professionals we must stay current. The ACSA Academy is designed to do just that.
“I would encourage anyone in the field to attend, and especially for someone who is coming into a new administrative position, the information that can be obtained in the Special Ed Academy is invaluable to your success.”
Academies take place Fridays 5-9 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m., though Saturday hours may vary. The following locations and dates are available for the Special Education Academy:
• Alhambra, West San Gabriel Valley SELPA, Sept. 28-29, Oct. 26-27, Nov. 16-17, Jan. 25-26, Feb. 22-23, March 29-30 and May 17-18.
• North Hills, Plummer Elementary School, Sept. 21-22, Oct. 19-20, Nov. 16-17, Dec. 7-8, Feb. 15-16, March 22-23 and May 3-4.
• Sacramento ACSA office, Sept. 7-8, Oct. 5-6, Nov. 30-Dec. 1, Jan. 25-26, Feb. 22-23, March 15-16 and April 19-20.
For more information and registration materials, visit www.acsa.org/academies, or call ACSA’s Educational Services Department at (800) 608-ACSA.
2012 Special Education Academy Grads
Special Education Academy-Alhambra graduates for 2011-12 include: Vernita Adkins-Barlow, assistant principal, Los Angeles COE; Victor Apolos de la Garza, school psychologist, Imperial COE; Richard Frederick, special education principal, San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools; Greg Gilliland, teacher/504 coordinator, Los Angeles USD; Nancy Gordon, coordinator, special education, Special Services Center; Erica Hawkes, coordinator, special education, Irvine USD; Denise Hicklin, senior director, pupil support services, Hueneme ESD; Randy Karst, AP, LACOE; John Phillip Keane, coordinator, LACOE; Deana Kay Lowinski, school psychologist, King City Union SD; M. Leonard McLaren Jr., program coordinator, Pasadena USD; Alma Miles, school psychologist, ICOE; Deborah Montoya, senior director special education, ICOE; Corinne Ramos, assistant principal (retired), Los Angeles USD; Xochitl Romero, school principal-retired; Jennifer Root, director of student services, Covina-Valley USD; Lynda Schoonover, program manager, Imperial COE; Lisa Soto, program manager-autism, Imperial COE; Lynda Wambaugh, coordinator of special education, Magnolia SD; and Siobhan Weston, administrator, special services, Hesperia USD.
Special Education Academy-Sacramento grads include: Laurie Alexander, assistant superintendent, Eureka City Schools; Anita Allardice, coordinator of special education, Fremont USD; Joanne Bass, special education principal, Sutter County Schools; Leslie Cena, Speech Dept. coordinator/program specialist, Yuba COE; Alicia Mercedes Fletcher Diaz, director of special education, Alisal Union SD; Kat Hannah, principal, Livermore Valley Jt. USD; Jennifer Hartl; Damian Huertas, special education coordinator, Palo Alto USD; Teresa Hurlbut, program specialist, Pittsburg USD; Richard Little, special education director, Mojave USD; Debbie Morris, director, student services, Roseville City SD; Phyllis Parisi, superintendent/principal, Vallecito Union SD; Timothy Reno, assistant principal, Calaveras USD; Radha Richmond, program manager, special education/Title 1, Solano COE; Marla Silversmith, program specialist, Pleasanton USD; Jennifer Taylor, coordinator, special education and student services, King City Union SD; Paul van Loon, director of special services, Madera USD; Elena Watson, director of special education, Newark USD; and Jeannine Wheeler, site administrator.