GCISD welcomes new Executive Director of Special Services
Laura Hill has been named the new Executive Director of Special Services. Hill, who currently serves as an education consultant for the Region XI Education Service Center, brings more than 20 years of diverse experience in the field of education to her new role. The GCISD Board of Trustees approved the hiring recommendation in June.
Hill will be taking over for Dr. Peggy Wheaton, who has served students and families in GCISD’s Special Services program for 18 years. Wheaton resigned her post in GCISD to accept a job in Denton ISD.
“We are excited for Laura to join the GCISD team,” said Dr. Rick Westfall, GCISD’s Chief Learning Officer. “Her varied experience in education, coupled with her specific knowledge of special education strategies, structures and requirements, will allow us to continue with a strong Special Services program. Her child-centered focus, collaborative work style and professional approach are a great fit for this role and for our district.”
Hill began her career as an elementary classroom teacher in Oklahoma. She then taught in Missouri before returning to Oklahoma to serve as a school counselor for grades K-12. She came to Texas in 1999 to join Bridgeport ISD, where she served as a school counselor, director and assistant superintendent. During her time there, Hill started an autism unit that provided training to help staff members better serve special needs students. She has also taught special education students and managed special education services. Most recently, she has served at the Region XI Education Service Center in Fort Worth to provide professional development, grant management training and comprehensive school support service to districts and campuses throughout the region.
In the realm of Special Services, Hill’s experience includes Access to General Curriculum, Co-Teaching, Response to Intervention, multi-cultural and diverse Learners, facilitating IEPs, Differentiated Instruction for all learners, Formative Assessment, federal and state Accountability systems, federal grants, Professional Learning Communities and Family Engagement. She also is well versed in Special Education laws and compliance as well as the Special Education finance structure and fiscal concerns.
Hill earned a bachelor’s in Elementary Education/Science and a master’s in Education from East Central University in Oklahoma. She is a recipient of NASA’s Christa McAuliffe Teacher in Space Scholarship and has successfully written, received and managed many formula and discretionary grants. Hill’s first official day in GCISD is July 9.