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    Special Education Department
    Posted on 07/27/2020

    The Special Education Department has restructured to provide more predictable and consistent operational systems that meet the needs of students, families, staff and allow them to focus on learning.

    Executive Director Trish Campbell smiles at the cameraTrish Campbell, who has been a Director of Special Education for four years, will now oversee the department as Executive Director. She began her career in special education as a para-educator in Portland, Oregon and continued her work in education as a parent educator, special education teacher, and as a special education administrator. Her lifelong commitment to students and families is evident in the decisions she makes as a district leader. Her steady approach, reflective nature, and expertise in special education instruction continue to guide her work in the pursuit of student learning and systems improvement.

    We would also like to introduce our two incoming Special Education Directors, Tarra Mitchell (Patrick) and Devin Gurley, as well as Ann Curry, the new Student Support Supervisor – Sensory Services.

    Our new directors, as well as our Special Education supervisors and program specialists will be structuring their work in elementary and secondary teams, rather than regionally, as before. We believe aligning our support based on grade level, like the Directors of Schools, will give our staff the ability to focus their expertise and provide targeted support to schools and the developmental stages of the students they serve.

    Director Tarra Mitchell smiles at the camera, wearing black-rimmed glassesTarra Mitchell (Patrick), Director of Special Education, joins the department as the former principal of Roxhill Elementary School where she was a building leader for four years. She has a wide range of experiences in public education as a high school teacher, district-level math coach, building principal, and university professor. Her work is grounded in a strong commitment to building systems to support all students by prioritizing students furthest from educational justice. Director Mitchell’s work at the building level will bring a critical perspective and skill set to support inclusion and anti-racist work throughout Seattle Public Schools.

    Director Gurley poses for a photoDevin Gurley, Director of Special Education, has spent the last 16 years with Seattle Public Schools, working in multiple roles, including special education teacher, department chair, Career Ladder teacher, program specialist for the Southeast Region, and finally as a special education supervisor for the past four years. Director Gurley’s work in the Central and Southeast regions have demonstrated a clear vision of what inclusive and equitable school environments look like, and what practices and leadership moves can get schools to that place. Her expertise in technical and instructional aspects of special education are a huge asset to the department.

    Supervisor Ann Curry smiles at the camera in front of a painted backgroundAnn Curry, Student Support Supervisor – Sensory Services, is joining SPS from Anchorage, Alaska, where she was the Director of the Alaska State School for Deaf & Hard of Hearing. She has over 18 years of experience teaching, coaching, and working as an administrator. Ann has worn many hats in her career in deaf education, working as a freelance interpreter, collaborating with families as an early intervention provider and as a teacher of the deaf for pre-K through secondary education. She has over 16 years of experience with administration in deaf education, both as a parent and educator. Supervisor Curry’s extensive experience in supporting students and staff with disabilities impressed our interview team, which included community members and parents.