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Special Programs Office


Special Programs Leadership & Teams

Laurie G. Rodriguez          281-229-6083

Executive Director of Special Programs

Maggie Burk             281-229-6094

Coordinator of Evaluation & Related Services

Kimberly Davidson        281-229-6075

Coordinator of Special Programs Instruction

Laura Batson               281-229-6095

Coordinator of Special Programs Compliance

We are privileged to lead the best team of educators!  You can email any of us directly by clicking on our names.  If you would like to know more, click on the tabs provided.

Laurie G. Rodriguez

Executive Director of Special Programs


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.  


Laura S. Batson

Coordinator of Special Programs Compliance

Laura joined Dickinson ISD in 1997 as a special education teacher and color guard instructor with the Gator Band.   Her undergraduate degree is from West Texas A&M University and her Masters degree is in educational administration from University of Houston - Clear Lake.


Laura has spent her entire career focused on helping students and their families reach their highest potential.  She has also been a behavior teacher, ARD committee facilitator and part of the leadership team in DISD for many years. 


Laura is married and has 1 step-son, 1 daughter-in law, 2 grandsons, 2 dogs along with cows and chickens.



Maggie Burk

 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.  

Kimberly Davidson

Coordinator of Special Programs Instruction


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 mother of one son, one daughter and grandmother to one granddaughter.


Administrative Assistants Support Team

Kathy Linkey

Assessment Clerk



Primary Responsibilities:

  • Schedules Child Find 
  • Assessment log
  • Records Requests
  • Department Attendance
  • Materials & File management

    Trisha Taylor

    Secretary to Executive Director



    Primary responsibilities:

    • Administrative support for director & department
    • Budget support (including travel & purchasing)
    • Manages the department's contracted services process

    Patricia Perkins

    PEIMS Secretary



    Primary Responsibilities:

    • PEIMS data entry for department
    • Department receptionist & electronic communication
    • Department Inventory
    • Medicaid | RMTS

    While we wish that there would never be a concern or problem, we do understand that there may come a time when a parent has a concern, problem, or complaint about their child's special education or dyslexia instruction, and we are here as a team to help.


    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). 


    Campus level

    • Step 1:  If the concern involves a teacher or classroom instructional concern, please schedule a conference with the teacher. We have found that most concerns can be solved at this level.  In the event you are not satisfied with the resolution, please proceed.
    • Step 2:  Contact the campus administrator and request a conference (telephone, Zoom or in person, as appropriate).

    Department / District level

    • Step 3.   If the concern / problem is not resolved at the campus level, and it involves special programs or dyslexia instruction, please contact Coordinator Kimberly Davidson.  If the concern is regarding evaluation or related services (OT, PT, Speech, behavior), please contact Coordinator Maggie Burk.
    • Step 4.  Please contact the Executive Director of Special Programs, Laurie Rodriguez if you continue to have concerns. 
    • Step 5: If there are still concerns, please proceed to contacting the Deputy superintendent, Dr. Jeff Pack.


    There are several additional resources for parents of students receiving Special Education services, and they are listed 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


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    Department Motto:

    "Whatever the student needs IS our job description!"

    Department Philosophy:

    "We may all be different kinds of fish, but in this school, we swim together."

    Assessment Team:

    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



    Assessment Staff 2020-2021





    Licensed Specialist

    School Psychology

    Mary Gonzales


    Crystal Speer


    Christine Ledwell


     Madalyn Meier


     Kelly Schultz


     Dr. Bianca Watkins


    Amber Wallace


     Yadira Villarreal


    Qixuan Hazel Goh Elis Gaytan
    Vann "Ann" Mai

    Vanessa Renteria

    Megan Giles Dustin Pereira
    Alexandria Shields

    To request records:



    Esther Smith or Kathy Linkey

    Behavior Team Profile:
    The Behavior Team provides students with behavioral challenges opportunities and experiences designed to teach behaviors that promote social and personal growth within the school setting. The team also consults with teachers to provide strategies to aid with behavior management to maximize students’ access to the general education setting. This team is comprised of an LSSP, Campus Level Behavior Coaches, and 6 ABCD teachers.

    Cephus Scott


    Team Leader Profile:

    Cephus Scott joined Dickinson ISD in 2019 as a Certified Teacher (Special Education). Cephus graduated from Kansas State University with a bachelor’s degree in social science. He has 22 years of certified behavior experience, 15 of which have been in education and 7 as a facility supervisor at both a brain injury rehab facility and a psychiatric facility. He previously served as Director of Resident Advocate for people living in low-income housing and Section 8 in 28 states. Last school year he was the ABCD teacher at McAdams Junior High and is excited to share his passion for behavior management and relationship building with students at a district level.


    Behavior Coach


    Veronica Batson



    Courtney Cunningham             



    Julie Dunnehoo



    Detric Dotson



    Derek Benton



    Chris Courtright



    Kim Atchison



    Anthony Murphy



    Erica Campbell



    Jenny Blanco


    Amanda Ryan



    Rodney Smith



    Leo Bookman



    Samuel Goodwin

    David Blair DHS

    ABC-D Teacher


    Ashley Beagnyam


    Sarah Nappier



    Sherry Wilson



    Erin Munoz





    Patricia Kaemmer             



    Beginning in the 2022-23 School year, Dickinson ISD has a Campus Compliance Facilitator assigned to each campus and DHS has one for each grade level.

    The Special Programs Compliance Process is overseen by Coordinator Laura Batson.




    Data Clerk


    Paula Marshall

    Aide Rebolloso


    Samaria “Sam” Epps

    Elizabeth Escamilla


    Victoria Bissonet-Cutaia

    Esmerelda Martinez


    Krystle Allison

    Marisel Bush


    Jenny Leblanc

    Haydee Ortiz


    Shannah Sauers

    Maureen Moore


    Carol Krysher

    Alexandra C Dominguez


    Jennifer Cardella

    Delia Maldonado


    Shemika King

    Xochitl Oviedo (Davila)


    Christopher Courtright

    Dana Martin Taylor


    Amanda Ryan

    Amy Carr


    Elizabeth "Liz" Brenner

    Juanita Garcia


    James “Mike” Tullos

    Elizabeth Shields

    TaShana McGinty Grimes

    Norma Campa

    Diana Carbajal

    Lisa Padgett


    James “Mike” Tullos


    Per Campus 

    Out of District

    Per Laura Batson

    Private Schools/Gator Academy

    Sam Epps

    The DISD Counseling Program is led by:

    Please visit our district's counseling page HERE for more information! 

    The Dyslexia team provides dyslexia therapy in accordance to The Dyslexia Handbook 2018 Update: Procedures Concerning Dyslexia and Related Disorders, Texas Education Agency, Austin Texas, November 2018.All children deserve the opportunity to read and write with success. Our mission is to uncover and illuminate the strengths of students with dyslexia.

    Karen Hollen


    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.

    Homebound Instruction

    DISD offers general and special education homebound instructional services to students who meet the TEA criteria. 

    Updated medical information is needed prior to the beginning of each year. 

    Once the student is determined eligible for homebound instruction by the district's social worker and 504 or ARD committee, Ms. Parrish contacts the student's teachers to begin the process.


    Homebound Questions

    If you believe your child needs homebound instruction, please contact your campus counselor, nurse, district's social worker or send Ms. Parrish an email.


    About Ms. Parrish:

    Dayna has a successful track record of teaching students of all ages for over two decades in deep South Texas, including 11 years dedicated to students confined to homebound instruction. Dayna earned a bachelor's degree in Education from Sam Houston University and a master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Texas A&M International University. She is passionate about diversity and differences in education and believes teachers are the heart of education recovery.



    Dayna Parrish

     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.

    Page under Construction!  Check back soon!

    The Dickinson ISD Occupational and Physical Therapy team supports IEP learning needs for students in several areas, including:

    • Academic achievement,
    • Self-care,
    • Mobility
    • Assistive Technology,
    • Social participation

    OTs and PTs operate in all school routines, including recess, classroom, and cafeteria time.


    Team Leader Profile:

    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.

    Phone:  281-229-7662

    Description of School Health Advisory Committee


    From the Texas Department of State Health Services:

    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


    SHAC Chairperson

    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.

    Speech Therapy Team Leader:  Tonia Marion-Wilson  281-229-7079

    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.

    Team Leader Profile:

    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)

    Jennifer Arnold, SLP-CCC


    Patricia Garcia-Gill, Assistant


    Monica Schmid, SLP-CCC


    Megan Craft, SLP-CCC


    Kristin Garr, SLP-CCC


    Kim Stocker, SLP-CCC


    Daryl Dagley, SLP-CCC


    Nyesha Jackson-Cavil, Assistant


    Michelle Wagner, SLP-CCC


    Chelsea Field, Assistant


    Chelsey Morales, Assistant


    Tonia Marion-Wilson, SLP-CCC


    We have an open SLP-CCC position!

    Page under Construction!  Check back soon!

    Kim Davidson


    Coordinator of Special Programs Instruction

    Kim supervises special education instruction for DISD. Her background includes teaching general and special education, serving as an ARDC facilitator, and as an assistant and associate principal.

    Karen Hollen


    Special Programs Curriculum Specialist

    Karen  joined Dickinson ISD in 2022 as a Special Programs Instructional Specialist.  Karen provides instructional support and program guidance for Dyslexia and other special education instructional areas.


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