The South Orangetown Central School District is pleased to announce that Lori Graham was named Supervisor of Special Education, effective July 5, at the July 1 Board of Education reorganization meeting. Graham will support and ensure that we continue to develop a strong continuum of special education programs and related services, support parents whose children are classified or need further information about special education, and play an active role in supporting our district’s special education department and child study teams.
The Supervisor of Special Education position was established in the voter-approved 2022-23 school budget to expand administrative capacity in response to increased demand. The District is projecting a six percent increase in students eligible for special education services and a 23 percent increase in children ages two to four who will qualify for preschool special education services in the new school year.
“This new position will help to improve academic achievement and emotional well-being through the coordinated delivery of high-quality instruction, support and services for our students with special needs,” said Assistant Superintendent for Pupil Personnel Services Karen Tesik, Ed.D. “Ms. Graham has been a member of our district for many years and knows the high expectations we hold for meeting the needs of our students with disabilities. Her knowledge of special education and strong commitment to advocating for our students makes her the ideal candidate for this position.”
Graham is an accomplished Committee on Special Education (CSE) chairperson and speech-language pathologist with 20 years of experience working with students, ranging in age from preschool through high school, who have diverse educational needs. She first joined SOCSD in 2009 as a speech-language pathologist serving students in grades K-8. Since 2018, Graham has chaired the District’s CSE. In this role, she has led initial eligibility determination meetings, annual review and requested review meetings for the CSE, Committee on Preschool Special Education and Section 504 Committee for in-district and outplaced students in grades K-12. Graham holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Hearing and Speech Science and Master of Arts degree in Speech-Language Pathology with licensure and New York State teacher certification from SUNY Plattsburgh, as well as building and district leader certificates.