Special Education School Improvement Specialists (SESIS)

Special Education School Improvement Specialists (SESIS) work to build the capacity of school districts with specific low performing buildings and other schools designated by NYSED to improve instructional practices primarily in the areas of literacy, behavioral supports and special education for students with disabilities  SESIS are available to support schools in the LAP and QIP process. 
Special Education School
Improvement Specialist 
 
Keara Battisti has been a SESIS with the Central Region RSE-TASC since the fall of 2015 through the Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES and in the field of Special Education for 19 years. Her background in education began with an undergraduate degree from Utica College of Syracuse University followed by Master’s degree in Special Education for SUNY New Paltz, Master’s degree in Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment from Walden University and lastly a Certificate of Advanced Study in Administration from SUNY Cortland.

Over the course of almost two decades, 16 years were in the classroom working with grades spanning first through twelfth grades. Some of those experiences included alternative education, co-teaching, self-contained classrooms, direct and indirect consultant teaching and resource room. Each experience added an additional layer of experience to her educational career. In addition to teaching, Keara was a K-12 Assistant Principal and Chairperson of Special Education for 2 years.  This experience further broadened her scope and deepened her understanding of our educational system. Her belief has always been that all children can learn given the right key to unlock their success.  

Kim  
Special Education School
Improvement Specialist 
Kim Hayes has been a classroom teacher in grades 4-6 for 14 years. During Kim's 14 years of teaching she has worked with general education and special education students. Kim has been an Elementary Principal for grades 4-5 and CSE Chairperson for grades preK-12.  She has been teaching at the college level since 2002 and is currently an adjunct professor for SUNY Potsdam teaching in the Literacy Department at the graduate studies level. Kim is certified as a General Education Teacher in grades preK-6, Reading K-12, School Building Leader and School District Leader. Kim is passionate about helping teachers bring out the best in themselves and their students. 
 
 MM  
 Special Education School
Improvement Specialist 
Melissa Middleton has been a classroom teacher in grades 5-12, working with Special Education, General Education and Bilingual/ELL students.
Melissa served as a principal in grades PK-12, been a curriculum coordinator for grades 9-12, , a Director for Pupil Personnel Services PK-12 and taught at St. Bonaventure University, as well as overseeing student teachers in their internships. Melissa is certified as a School District Administrator and Special Education Teacher, Birth -2nd grade in New York. She holds Texas Certification as School Building Leader, General Education K-12, Special Ed K-12 and ESL K-12. Melissa loves to see the “light bulb” go off for learners of all ages when the connections become clear and the possibilities real. 
 
 
 

Special Education School
Improvement Specialist 
Barbara Walls has been working in education for 15 years. She taught for 7 years as a special education middle school teacher for the Albany City School District, 2 years for the New York City Department of Education as a high school special education teacher in the South Bronx, and as a special education teacher for intense management needs elementary and middle school students at Madison-Oneida BOCES. She studied Elementary Education at SUNY Oneonta, Special Education at SUNY Albany, and School Building Leadership at Lehman College in the Bronx. Barbara strives to help special educators to meet the needs of their diverse students.
 
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