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
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
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
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
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
Coordinates school psychologists.
Assistive Technology Specialist – Janis Doneski-Nicol
Phone: (928) 773-8198, ext. 4928
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
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
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
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
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.