Home | Sitemap | Contact Us | Translate
Click to email us!
Special Programs Office
Laurie G. Rodriguez 281-229-6083
Executive Director of Special Programs
Maggie Burk 281-229-6094
Coordinator of Evaluation & Related Services
Kimberly Davidson 281-229-6087
Coordinator of Special Programs Instruction & Compliance
Laurie G. Rodriguez
Laurie joined Dickinson ISD in 2006 as the director. Her undergraduate degree is in secondary education from Oklahoma State University and her master's degree is in educational psychology from University of Houston, with post-graduate studies in educational statistics at Texas A&M and the superintendency at UT-Tyler.
Laurie taught general and special education before becoming an educational diagnostician in 2000 and then moving into special education leadership in 2003. In 2013, Laurie was appointed by Governor Perry to serve on the Continuing Advisory Committee for Special Education; her term will expire in 2021.
Laurie is married with 2 daughters, 2 step-sons, 1 granddaughter and 3 rescue dogs and 1 rescue cat.
Coordinator of Evaluation & Related Services
Maggie joined Dickinson ISD in 2000 as a licensed specialist in school psychology. Her undergraduate degree is in psychology and her master's degree is in specialist in school psychology, both degrees are from University of Houston-Clear Lake.
Maggie's entire career has been devoted to school psychology. She volunteers for the American Red Cross in the area of Disaster Mental Health. Maggie is a trainer for AS+K to Save a Life and Youth Mental Health First Aid.
Maggie is married with 1 son, 3 daughters, 3 grandchildren and 3 rescue dogs.
Kim is a proud 1990 Dickinson High School graduate. After attending college to obtain her undergraduate degree in interdisciplinary studies at University of Houston-Clear Lake, Kim returned to Dickinson and began her teaching career as a 4th grade teacher. She then earned her master's degree in educational administration, also from University of Houston-Clear Lake.
Kim taught general and special education before becoming an ARDC facilitator, associate principal, and coordinator.
Kim is the proud mom of a son serving in the US Army and a daughter. She has 2 rescue cats.
Secretary to Executive Director
As a department, we support the District's Problem Solving Process with the goal of starting to address the concerns at the point closest to the problem/concern and we are ready to assist as needed. (Steps 3 and 4 below).
Texas Education Agency, Office of Special Programs and Monitoring (OSPM) has all information related to special education complaints available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Arabic. Information in each of these languages can be found at or linked from the following URL: Special Education Dispute Resolution Processes | Texas Education Agency.
OSPM has launched an online, special education complaints form available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Arabic. The online form allows the user to file a special education complaint with TEA just as if the user were utilizing a hard copy of the model special education complaint form. Upon submitting the online form, it is automatically emailed to the public agency against which the complaint is filed and to TEA at the same time. The user receives a confirmation copy of the complaint by email. The online form in all five languages can be found on or linked from the following URL: Special Education Complaints Process | Texas Education Agency
"Whatever the student needs IS our job description!"
"We may all be different kinds of fish, but in this school, we swim together."
Dickinson ISD utilizes an ARD facilitation model where a specially trained, experienced, special education teacher organizes the ARD process in order to allow teachers to focus on instruction.
The ARDCF schedules and organizes the paperwork submitted by the students' teachers and special education providers.
Team Leader Profile:
Jennifer Groves joined Dickinson ISD in 2009 as a special education teacher. She became an ARDC facilitator in 2015 and then became the team leader in 2017.
Jennifer graduated from St. Edwards University in Austin with a degree in Social Work. Her background includes working for her family moving and storage business in Harlingen, Texas and as special education paraprofessional before becoming a teacher.
Her goal for her team is to make sure the paperwork associated with the special education process is completed accurately and in a timely manner, and most importantly, that it reflects the needs of the student.
CRES | BCES
Jennifer Groves, LEAD
JSES | LEAD
MJHS | HRES
KELE | DMS
SLES | BMS
KJHS | HRES
DHS & Alternative Campus
ARDCF Supervising Coordinator
MJHS | KJHS | HRES
BMS | SLES | KELE
DMS | Lobit
BCES | CRES | JSES
The DISD assessment team includes Licensed Specialists in School Psychology (LSSP) and Educational Diagnosticians. This team is responsible (with other teams) for conducting full, individual evaluations to determine special education eligibility determinations. They administer individualized achievement, intellectual and psychological tests.
Click HERE to go the Evaluation Home Page
Dr. Bianca Watkins
Esther Smith or Kathy Linkey
To apply, click here!
Omar Cobo, LPC
Omar Cobo joined Dickinson ISD in 2019 as a Licensed Professional Counselor.
Omar Cobo graduated from Nova Southeastern University with a Master Degree in Mental Health Counseling. He completed his graduate internship at Family Service Center of Galveston County.
His goal for his team is to empower students to be successful by developing relationships, providing appropriate interventions, and monitoring progress toward mastery of student goals.
The DISD Counseling Program is led by:
Please visit our district's counseling page HERE for more information!
Team Leader Profile
Karen Hollen, District Dyslexia Specialist, is new to Dickinson ISD. She has 20 plus years of experience including classroom teaching, reading intervention, instructional coaching and campus leadership. Karen received a Bachelors in Interdisciplinary Studies, a Master in Reading Education and post Masters certification in Leadership from the University of Houston-Clear Lake. She strongly believes that education needs to prepare students to lead a choice filled life that is not limited by weakness but defined by their strengths.
Click HERE to go to the Dyslexia Home Page.
DISD offers general and special education homebound instructional services to students who meet the TEA criteria.
Once the student is determined eligible for homebound instruction, Ms. Smith contacts the student's teachers to begin the process.
If you believe your child needs homebound instruction, please contact your campus counselor, nurse, or send Ms. Smith an email.
DISD Homebound Teacher
JoEllen Allen serves as the district's homeless liaison. Her office number is 281-229-7421.
Jo Ellen graduated from University of Houston Clear Lake with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She earned her Master’s degree in Social Work from University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. She has worked as a licensed social worker in mental health and school settings. She has been working at Dickinson ISD in the role of District Social Worker since 2008.
Click HERE to go the Homeless Information main page.
The Dickinson ISD Occupational and Physical Therapy team supports IEP learning needs for students in several areas, including:
OTs and PTs operate in all school routines, including recess, classroom, and cafeteria time.
Tanya Jensen joined Dickinson ISD in 2006 as a Physical Therapist and team leader. Tanya graduated from the University of Puget Sound in with a master's degree in Physical Therapy. Prior to coming to DISD, Tanya worked in pediatric out-patient, orthopedics, ECI and at Shriner's Burn Hospital.
In her spare time, Tanya enjoys teaching group fitness classes and caring for her horses.
Her goal for her team is to make sure students receive outstanding occupational and physical therapy to assist in reaching educational and mobility goals.
Special Education and Section 504 records can be requested by sending an email to the Special Programs email address, which is checked daily and routed to the appropriate campus.
Dickinson ISD uses the Frontline management system for all special education, 504 and LPAC paperwork and can transfer documents electronically to districts who use the same program.
Please refer to the Gator Wellness Page for a full description of the DISD Social Emotional Learning Project.
Click HERE to access the Gator Wellness page.
Amy Cmaidalka is the new Social Emotional Learning Specialist for Dickinson ISD.
Description of School Health Advisory Committee
From the Texas Department of State Health Services:
A School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) is a group appointed by the school district to serve at the district level. Members of the SHAC come from different areas of the community and from within the school district. The majority of members must be parents who are not employed by the district. Texas law (Texas Education Code, Title 2, Subtitle F, Chapter 28, Subchapter A, §28.004) requires the establishment of a SHAC for every school district. SHACs are required to meet at least four times each year.
SHACs assist the districts in ensuring that local community values are reflected in health education instruction. Additionally, SHACs play an important role in strengthening the connection between health and learning. They can help parents and community stakeholders reinforce the knowledge and skills children need to stay healthy for a lifetime.
JoEllen Allen, MSW 281-229-7421
Jo Ellen graduated from University of Houston Clear Lake with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology. She earned her Master's degree in Social Work from the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. She has worked as a licensed social worker in mental health and school settings. She has been working at Dickinson ISD in the role of District Social Worker since 2008.
Jamie Harbuck, M.Ed. 281-229-6643
Jamie graduated from Stephen F. Austin in Nacogdoches with a Bachelor’s degree in Education for the Hearing Impaired. She earned her Master’s degree in Counseling from University of Houston Clear Lake. She has taught Special Education PPCD, Kindergarten, 1st grade and 6th grade. She was an elementary counselor for 4 years before taking on the role of district counselor/social worker.
About Speech Therapy:
The Speech Therapy team provides speech therapy in accordance with the best practices model advocated by ASHA and TSHA. Each student who receives speech therapy has been evaluated by a speech pathologist and determined to have an educational need for speech therapy services. The ARD committee determines the student's goals and therapy schedule.
Tonia Wilson joined Dickinson ISD in 2002 as a speech pathologist and then became the team leader in 2004.
Tonia graduated from Stephen F. Austin in Nacogdoches with a Master's degree in Speech Pathology. Her background includes serving in the Army Reserve and Texas National Guard, attaining the rank of Captain before becoming a Speech Pathologist.
Her goal for her team is to help students make progress and become more effective, independent and functional communicators.
Speech Staff (click on name to email)
We have an open SLP-CCC position!
Kim supervises special education instruction and compliance issues for DISD. Her background includes teaching general and special education, serving as an ARDC facilitator, and as an assistant and associate principal.
Special Education Instructional Delivery (SEID) Design Team
Special Programs Curriculum Specialist
Mike joined Dickinson ISD in 2019 as a Special Education TIDES Teacher at Dickinson High School. Mike Herdman graduated from Arizona State University with a masters degree in Educational Leadership. His goal for his teachers is to provide support to all Special Education teachers through personal development, systems, and curriculum that meets the individual needs of all students appropriately.
Dickinson Independent School District
2218 FM 517 East | Dickinson, TX 77539
Inclusive of all, Dickinson ISD will cultivate excellence, producing confident, collaborative, goal-driven learners who become empowered citizens in a global society.
Dickinson ISD will equip and empower all learners with skills and experiences to achieve academic excellence and make meaningful contributions to our world.
Copyright © 2021 - Dickinson Independent School District
powered by ezTaskTitanium TM