Veteran educator Kim Hawkins is the new Director of Special Education and Preschool in the Allen County School District.
Hawkins graduated from Glasgow High School in 1986 before beginning her higher education pursuit at Western Kentucky University. Hawkins has earned Bachelor’s Degree in teaching exceptional children-learning and behavior disorders, a Master’s Degree in school counseling (all grades) and a Rank I Professional Certificate for Director of Special Education. Hawkins taught special education in the Metcalfe County School District and, most recently, served as Director of Special Education for Metcalfe County.
The new director notes her role is oversight of the many components of the Special Education program.
“The Director of Special Education is responsible for the support and direction of all teachers of students with disabilities in the District,” Hawkins said. “Also, this position requires that the director be responsible for the maintenance of all policies and procedures in regard to students with disabilities. The position deals with the Federal laws in regard to special education, being sure that all Individualized Education Plans (ILP) are written specifically to the child and carried out in the classroom. The position also requires that all of the Kentucky continuous monitoring process is completed, an ongoing process throughout the year, and that compliance record reviews are competed each year.”
Hawkins adds that the position requires close daily monitoring and review.
“It requires a daily review to see the things that come down from the office of Special Education,” Hawkins noted. “It’s a very complicated process. “
Hawkins adds that the Allen County School District is “on a good path” and that she does not foresee any changes at the local level. Hawkins does note that a recent Supreme Court decision may have an impact at the local and state level at a future point in time.
Away from the office, Hawkins enjoys collecting antiques.
“I collect vintage and antique costume jewelry,” Hawkins said. “It is a passion of mine. I love to do that outside of work. Also, in my background, I have worked with Ruby Payne, the author for "A Framework for Understanding Poverty." I feel that having that background is also a plus for what I do.”
Hawkins notes that the field of Special Education has changed dramatically in the past four decades. Ironically, the observation is illustrated in a find in her own office recently.
“I found a pamphlet from the 70s about the Special Education program,” Hawkins added. “I’m sure that pamphlet is one of the guides that were sent out when the Individual with Disabilities Education Act was passed. Today it’s all this (pointing to a bookshelf filled with manuals and guidebooks). We have come a long way.”
In addition to her Special Education role, Hawkins oversees the District’s preschool program.
“Peggy Rippy does a wonderful job with that and I’m there for support and help them with whatever they need to do and help with all the reporting they have to do,” Hawkins said. “It’s a lot of things to do behind the scenes.”
Hawkins began in her new position on July 1.