Vernon schools seek new director of special services

Vernon. Superintendent Karen D’Avino plans to work with the Special Education Parent Advisory Group and the school board’s new Special Services Committee.

| 22 Jan 2021 | 12:18

By Mike Zummo

Vernon Township School District Superintendent Karen D’Avino said on Jan. 6 that it will be at least April before the district has a new director of Special Services.

The former director of special services, Deb Merrill, retired after the 2019-20 school year, and one of the special services supervisors missed time early in the term. D’Avino posted for interims because she had to replace two out of three administrators.

After the posting went up for the interims, the supervisor returned to school.

D’Avino had received seven applications for interim director of special services and screened five of them on Oct. 7 over Zoom.

“It’s almost like a sub,” D’Avino said. “The superintendent would screen the candidates and have someone fill in for a certain amount of time while looking for someone to fill that position.”

D’Avino said she wants to use the same process used when hiring the previous director, by working with the school board’s new Special Services Committee and the district’s Special Education Parent Advisory Group (SEPAG). She said she will ask the committee and SEPAG to come up with questions and what they want in a director, and to develop a profile.

“I think both SEPAG and the Special Services Committee were very helpful the last time around,” D’Avino said.

D’Avino said if she were able to get started this week, she could schedule Round 1 interviews and possibly complete the first round by the end of January.

“Even if we don’t find someone until February, which would be rapid, they’d still have to give their own district 60 days’ notice,” she said.