This July, the New York Council of Administrators of Special Education, or NYCASE, has named Debra Kienke, the Oceanside School District’s director of special education, as 2017’s Special Education Administrator of the Year.
Kienke was selected for the honor out of a pool of special education administrators from across New York State, according to a release. “There is no question that she is perceived as a leader among leaders,” school Superintendent Dr. Phyllis Harrington, who nominated Kienke for the award, said.
“Deb has established a high level of trust and respect with a wide variety of constituents. Her strong interpersonal skills and vast knowledge and expertise regarding special education at all levels add to her success in implementing programs and supports for students with disabilities,” Meg Schlegal, a co-president of NYCASE said in a statement.
Kienke has been credited with creating a vocational lab at the Oceanside Middle School and community-based job sites for high school students with the purpose of preparing students with disabilities for employment after college.
In addition to being named Administrator of the Year, Kienke has served as a president of the Long Island Association of Special Education Administrators, as well as the South Shore Consortium.