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Lansing CSD welcomes new Director of Special Services Colleen Valletta

Meet Colleen Valletta, Director of Special Services

Mrs. Valletta began working at Lansing CSD ear­lier this summer, after previous Special Education Director Kathy Rourke announced her retirement. She received her undergraduate and first graduate degree through St. John Fisher College and her second graduate degree from SUNY Cortland. Please join us in welcoming Mrs. Valletta to the district!

What are you most excited about bringing to Lansing? My passion for improving the educational opportunities for all children.

Where have you worked prior to this role? How have these experiences helped prepare you for working at Lansing? I worked as a Special Education teacher and CSE Chairperson in Ithaca City School District for a number of years. My time in Ithaca provided me a great foundation in special education. Most recently, I worked as a Supervisor of Special Education for Cayuga Onondaga BOCES. In this position, I acted as an itinerant principal, supporting BOCES classrooms that were located in district. My experiences in that position really broadened my knowl­edge of various disabilities, the impact of trauma on a child, behavioral strategies, and building relationships among stakeholders and team members.

What have you enjoyed so far about Lansing? I have felt very wel­comed by the Lansing community. Everyone has greeted me warmly. It is clear that Lansing is a strong community of dedicated families and school employees. I’m really grateful to be a part of this community.

Goals for the upcoming school year? There is so much to take in during the first year in any new role, so my goal is to be as present as possible. It will be important for me to build a global perspective of the special programs currently in place at the district and how these meet the needs of our students. In order to gain this perspective, I plan to spend as much time out from behind my desk as possible. I hope to build relationships with students, families, faculty/staff, service providers, and community supports.

Any hobbies or activities you like to do outside of work? Outside of work, my life centers around my two year old daughter, Lilliana. Our cur­rent favorite activities include visiting all the local playgrounds, looking for turtles and birds on hikes, eating lunch at Viva, and playing at the Science Center.

Favorite things about coming to work each day? The students are at the heart of the work that I do. They are the reason I went into this field and my motivation to continue my education and training. Any interaction with a child brightens my day.