The Watertown Special Education Parent Advisory Council will host the district’s new special education director during a public meeting on Sept. 28.
Watertown SEPAC sent out the following information:
The Watertown SEPAC meeting will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 28 at the Phillips School Conference Room, 30 Common St., from 6-8 p.m.
This meeting will be an informal coffee with our new Director of Special Education, Kathleen Desmarais.
Bring your kids – child care, beverages and fresh baked goods will be provided.
Kathleen Desmarais comes to the position of Director of Special Education of the Watertown Public Schools eager to share her experiences and passion in the field of special education.
Kathleen began her career as an Instructional Assistant at the CASE Collaborative, before going on to earn her Bachelors of Science in Special Education with a minor in Sociology. She taught for four years in 766 approved therapeutic day schools while earning her Master’s degree in Special Education. Kathleen then began her public school teaching career, including 8 years teaching students with a wide range of special needs in inclusion and partial inclusion settings in grades K-6 in Worcester, the second largest urban district in New England.
In 2007, Kathleen was promoted to a position as an Evaluation Team Chairperson for the District. She managed a caseload of over 300 students at the secondary level during her 6-year tenure as an ETC in Worcester. During this time, she participated in intensive professional development regarding Transition Planning for secondary students, and became a trainer for the District on this topic. Kathleen earned a second Master’s degree, in Educational Leadership, which was conferred in January 2013. She was appointed the Assistant Director of Special Education in Worcester in July of that year. In this role, she helped oversee special education services for over 5,000 eligible students in 44 schools in the District, as well as over 100 students in private day and residential school settings.
Her personal and professional experiences have focused Kathleen’s mission on increasing and improving inclusion opportunities for all students regardless of disability. Equity in education is a priority for Kathleen, and she feels privileged to lead the Special Education department in Watertown, a community that is rich in its socio-economic, linguistic, racial, and ethnic diversity.