Director of Special Education & 504 Services

CCSD Names Karen Smith as Director of Special Education and 504 Services

On October 4, the Chappaqua Central School District Board of Education named Ms. Karen Smith as the next Director of Special Education and 504 Services, effective November 16, 2020.

Ms. Smith has been a leader in special education for over 13 years in various positions in the region. Most recently, she served as the Director of Special Education in the Wappingers Central School District, for over 5 years. During her tenure in Wappingers, Ms. Smith oversaw 1600 classified students attending 15 public schools, three parochial schools, and private or day residential programs. Ms. Smith continues to be an active CSE and CPSE Chair, which allows her to maintain strong relationships with students, families and faculty. Colleagues have expressed that Ms. Smith’s priority is always focused on doing what is in the best interest of children.

Ms. Smith reflects the District’s inclusive stance and supports programmatic development based on classroom integration for all students to the fullest extent possible.  She has extensive experience and training around cultural competency to address issues of disproportionality. Ms. Smith has also prioritized the importance of meaningfully integrating mindfulness into the daily classroom experience. 

“Karen is a student-centered leader who actively collaborates with colleagues to provide a thoughtful continuum of services for all learners,” said Superintendent Christine Ackerman. “My colleagues and I look forward to welcoming Karen, and her expertise in the area of Special Education, to our team.”

“It is my career privilege and personal pleasure to join the Chappaqua Central School District. I look forward to working with the Chappaqua community, supporting your excellent outcomes and fostering the personal development of each student,” said Ms. Smith.

Ms. Smith received a Bachelor of Arts in English and History from Hamilton College. She also holds a combined Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy/Master of Science from D’Youville College and School District Leader Certification from SUNY New Paltz.