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Julie Criss Ready to Make a Difference for Cato-Meridian Students as Committee for Preschool Special Education/Special Education Chairperson

After 16 years in the Lyncourt Union Free School District, Julie Criss is looking forward to helping Cato-Meridian students in her new role as the Committee for Preschool Special Education/Special Education (CPSE/CSE) Chairperson.

Criss spent seven years teaching fifth grade and eight years teaching pre-k but felt that there was something more she could offer. She earned her certificate of advanced study and has been trained in school building and school district leadership.

“Teaching is where I thought I would always be,” Criss said. “The past few years or so, I just kind of thought that there was something more of an impact I could have. I saw this role and it sparked my interest.”

As a teacher, she worked closely with special education staff, speech therapists, and occupational therapists to oversee students with special needs in her classroom. When she taught pre-k, she collaborated with providers outside of the district to ensure that those students were receiving the appropriate services. She believes these experiences will help her in her new position, in which she will oversee students’ individualized educational programs (IEP’s) and work with parents and providers.

Even though the school year is still a few weeks away, Criss is eager to get into the classrooms and get to know the teachers and students she’ll be working with.

“I want to get into the classrooms and meet the students and meet the teachers who will be providing for the students,” she said. “Really get to know the students well to know the programs they need and to provide them with options.”

Criss’s husband and his parents are Cato-Meridian alumni, so she is already familiar with the school district. She said the opportunity to work in a place her husband loves was very special to her.

“I’ve felt welcomed here from the first time I walked in- everyone has been so helpful. I came from a smaller school, so I’ve always loved that small community vibe.”

Cato-Meridian parents are invited to meet Criss on Tuesday, August 29 at 5:30 p.m. in the round table cafeteria at the elementary school.

Julie Criss