Thursday, June 15, 2017


The Board of Education tonight plans to hire a new director of special services at its regular board meeting, ending a lengthy search for a position considered one of the most important in the district.

Dr. Lauren Reisenauer most recently served as director of special education in the Englewood School District. She will be appointed to the post of executive director of special services and youth development, an expanded position that also includes responsibility for guidance services. She will be paid $153,000 per year, according to the meeting agenda.

She will also be the fourth person in that post in two years.

The position, which oversees programs for special needs, learning impaired and other students classified in that realm, has been the subject of scrutiny for the past few years.

When the previous director, Ella Ridau, was appointed in 2015, some parents objected because she was appointed from within the department, which some saw as problematic and in need of an outside change. The board approved the hiring in a close split vote, 5-4.

Less than two years later, in September 2016, Ridau announced her retirement, effective this past March. At that time, the board hired a search firm to seek a replacement.   

After the initial search failed to find a qualified candidate, the district reopened the search in December and, a month later, appointed an interim director.

In April, Assistant Superintendent of Administration Kevin Walston said that a total of  71 candidates had initially come forward for the position and interviews with finalists were to be held in May.

Tonight's meeting is set for 7:30 p.m. at the board meeting room, 525 Academy St., Maplewood. See the full agenda HERE.

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