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Key position filled quickly at Carlynton

| Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, 9:01 p.m.

Carlynton School District officials said they acted quickly to fill the position that Lee Myford, director of pupil services, will leave at the end of the month because of her role overseeing special education.

“The function is a very important one. We really did want to move as quickly as possible,” school board President David Roussos said. “But we also recognized the importance of getting the right person in there.”

School psychologist Hillary Mangis was appointed at the Feb. 3 school board meeting, but her position will have a different name and responsibilities. Last year about 245 students were enrolled in special education programs.

Myford has been director of pupil services since 2007 and will resign effective Feb. 28. She said she wants to spend more time with her husband and three children.

Superintendent Gary Pfeiffer said the new coordinator of special education and student service position is similar, but some responsibilities have been shifted.

“One of the things Lee Myford did was supervise and evaluate the special education teachers. That's going to go back to the building principals,” he said.

Pfeiffer said Mangis' main responsibilities will be coordinating special education programming and making sure the district is compliant with special education laws. Her salary will be $81,000 annually.

Mangis, 33, has been the school psychologist for four years, and graduated from Carlynton in 1998. She ventured into school psychology after majoring in psychology and minoring in education at Washington & Jefferson College.

“It was a good mirroring of the two things I was studying at school,” she said. “It lets me reach more children than the 25 I would in the classroom.”

She said the transition to her new role should be smooth. “I'll be overseeing special education timelines, collaborating and providing support to teachers — it's kind of what I do already,” she said.

Roussos said Mangis' experience made her an obvious candidate.

“In this situation, with Hillary, we had someone already with the district,” he said. “She's close to the district, she knows the district and knows the kids and can get in there and pick it up and keep running with it.”

Mangis said she wants to expand mental health and preventative services.

“I'm big on ‘What can we do to prevent the need for special education and testing?'” she said.

“Kids come to school with a lot more on their plate than you or I did. We have to give kids the tools they need to be successful — for not seeing their name on a test — for special education.”

Megan Guza is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5810 or mguza@tribweb.com.

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