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  • Exceptional Student Services Staff
    It takes talented and caring staff members to ensure that our department maintains quality services for students. We never forget that everything we do is for the benefit of students, whether or not we work directly with them.

    Please do not hesitate to contact our office. We are happy to assist you!

    Director – Susan Smith
    Phone: (928) 527-6171
    Email: ssmith2@fusd1.org
    Assistant: Michele Moore (928) 527-6160

    Responsible for all aspects of Exceptional Student Services Department, including all special education staff, school psychologists, speech therapists, occupational/physical therapists, special education therapists, integrated preschools, and gifted education.

    ESS Coordinator – Cherise Hovis
    Phone (928) 527-6179
    Email: chovis@fusd1.org

    Coordinates district elementary specialized programs, Special Education Therapists, Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) curriculum, and the Extended School Year (ESY) Program.

    ESS/Gifted Specialist – Sara Martinet
    Phone: (928) 527-6290
    Email: smartinet@fusd1.org

    Supports students and staff with curriculum, instruction, and alternative assessments. Provides support for the Gifted Program throughout the district.

    Behavioral Specialist – Matthew McIntire
    Phone: (928) 527-6101
    Email: mmcintire@fusd1.org

    Board Certified Behavior Analyst who provides assistance to students and staff throughout the district in the area of behavior intervention.

    Lead Psychologist/Coordinator – Joel Axler
    Phone: (928)527-6227
    Email: jaxler@fusd1.org

    Coordinates school psychologists.

    Assistive Technology Specialist – Janis Doneski-Nicol
    Phone: (928) 773-8198, ext. 4928
    Email: jdoneski-nicol@fusd1.org

    Coordinates ordering, distribution, and training for assistive technology software and devices district wide. Provides assistance to students with disabilities and staff in the area of assistive technology.

    Account Specialist/Office Manager – Michele Moore
    Phone: (928) 527-6160
    Email: mmoore@fusd1.org

    Assistant to Director of Exceptional Student Services. Maintains department budgets and special education staffing allocations. Prepares departmental purchase orders. Prepares and submits various special education grants with Arizona Department of Education. Submits end of year data collection. Performs other duties as assigned.

    Program Secretary – Debbie Kelsey
    Phone: (928)527-6170
    Email: dkelsey@fusd1.org

    Responsible for student data management, including student records databases and files for special needs students. Provides assistance with e-IEP Pro. Prepares various state reports, including special education census. Responds to student records requests (student last names starting with A – K). Performs other duties as assigned.

    Medicaid Specialist – Heather Mitchell
    Phone: (928) 527-6163
    Email: hmitchell@fusd1.org

    Maintains Medicaid in the Public Schools Program (MIPS) and Medicaid Administrative Claiming Program (MAC), including training, organization of billing records, and all aspects related to Medicaid. Provides assistance with e-IEP Pro. Performs other duties as assigned.

    Program Secretary – Liliane Winikka
    Phone: (928) 527-6182
    Email: lwinikka@fusd1.org

    Provides support for the Extended School Year (ESY) and Gifted Programs. Prepares department payroll. Requests substitutes for vacant special education teacher/parapro positions district wide. Provides assistance with student data issues, including e-IEP Pro and student records requests (student last names starting with L – Z). Takes registration for various ESS trainings, including First Aid/CPR courses required for paraprofessionals participating in Medicaid billing. Performs other duties as assigned.