Posted Date: 07/16/2021
Norwalk Public Schools is pleased to announce the following districtwide appointments.
Education Administrator of Specialized Instruction
Fatima Susana-Tejada will join Norwalk Public Schools as education administrator of specialized instruction. In this role, she will provide leadership to coordinate and supervise the effective delivery of special education and related services, working closely with the community, families, staff and district teams by leading teams in identifying all instructional and related services for students based on student needs. Her work will include overseeing the operation of special education for Norwalk Public School, in consultation and collaboration with parents, teachers, and administrators in all matters relevant to the education of exceptional children. She will report to Rob Pennington, assistant superintendent of schools.
Ms. Susana-Tejada joins NPS from Greenwich Public Schools, where she has served for more than 12 years in the course of her career. She also serves as an educational consultant for Little Lola and Tots, which provides educational programming, parenting workshops and publishes books focused on cultural exposure and diversity.
She comes to Norwalk with deep experience across special education throughout the Greenwich school district, working with PPT teams in her tenure at multiple schools. Most recently, she served at Parkway School, where she worked to accelerate student learning to support students’ individual needs and abilities. Working with the school’s PPT team, she advised on providing and adjusting support for twice exceptional students. Her experience also includes work as a Kindergarten teacher, administrative intern and special projects manager.
In addition to Greenwich, Ms. Susana-Tejada served as IEP compliance coordinator for Stamford Public Schools, providing training and support to special education teachers and building administrators, supporting schools in monitoring and making instructional adjustments for students identified for special education, and instructing staff on IEP development, accommodations and modifications, and facilitating weekly PPT meetings. She started her education career as a dual language Kindergarten teacher at PS 75 in New York City.
Ms. Susana-Tejada earned an educational leadership certificate from Sacred Heart University. She holds a master of arts in early childhood education and early childhood special education from New York University, as well as a bachelor of science in marketing and finance from Manhattan College. She is also certified in the Orton-Gillingham approach for the treatment of dyslexia.
Supervisor of Specialized Instruction for Related Services
Hannah Cohen has been selected as supervisor of specialized instruction for related services. Cohen’s role will assist in the supervision of related staff who provide services for students with special needs including occupational and physical therapies, speech and language, teachers of the hearing impaired, teachers of the visually impaired and adapted physical education. Mrs. Cohen will work cooperatively with other school administrators and authorize special education and pupil personnel services. This position is a part of the special education leadership team and reports to the education administrator of specialized instruction.
Mrs. Cohen brings to her new role vast experience working with families and students with specialized needs. She joins Norwalk Public Schools from Trumbull Public Schools, where she served as speech-language team leader and the speech-language pathologist responsible for the evaluation and treatment of students in kindergarten through twelfth grade with a range of disabilities such as speech-language impairment, learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, and autism spectrum disorders. During her tenure in Trumbull, Mrs. Cohen also worked with community and private preschools to provide evaluations and treatments for students.
Throughout her career Mrs. Cohen has held a variety of speech-language pathology leadership positions in early learning and elementary school programs in Darien, New York and Arizona with a focus on cognition, speech/language, motor, self-help/daily living, socialization, and the evaluation and implementation of Individualized Education Plans.
Mrs. Cohen began her career as a speech-language pathologist in the medical field having worked as a family care visiting nurse in Stratford where she was responsible for the evaluation and treatment of dysphagia, language, communication and cognitive impairments in pediatric and adult/geriatric patients in their home setting. She also did speech-language pathology work at the Jewish Home for the Elderly in Fairfield and Maefair Healthcare Center in Trumbull.
Mrs. Cohen holds certifications from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the state of Connecticut Department of Public Health. She is a licensed speech and language pathologist. Cohen completed the Intermediate Administrator Certification Program from Sacred Heart University and has a Master of Science in Communication Disorders and
Sciences from the University of Oregon. She also earned a Master of Education in Early Childhood from Northern Arizona University and a Bachelor of Arts in Education in Special Education from Arizona State University.
Education Administrator for Scientifically Research-Based Interventions
Deborah Perry has been appointed as education administrator Scientifically Research Based Interventions (SRBI). Required for all districts by the State Department of Education, SRBI is a comprehensive and systematic approach to assessing and instructing students, with an emphasis placed on students whose progress indicates a need for intervention to ensure continuous growth.
Reporting to Rob Pennington, assistant superintendent of schools, Dr. Perry will be responsible for implementation of the district’s SRBI plan, including aligning all schools with the districtwide SRBI vision, communicating and screening data from progress monitoring, supporting teachers and schools with intervention implementation, and ensuring effective functioning of data teams at each school.
Dr. Perry joins Norwalk from Stamford Public Schools, where she served as department head of special education at Stamford High School. In this role, she managed the special education department, including teaches and paraprofessionals. Her responsibilities including leading professional development, facilitating PPTs, creating schedules for all special education students, and transitioning all students from middle to high schools. From 2016-2018, she oversaw IEP compliance for Stamford elementary and charter schools, working with administration on legal guidelines, training teachers and facilitating relationships with parents.
Prior to her work in Stamford, she was assistant education director and special education teacher for the Devereux Glenholme School, an independent therapeutic boarding school in Connecticut. Her role there include supervising paraprofessionals, organizing all data collection systems, serving as the state and AimsWeb testing coordinator, and serving as a leader for professional development days and new teachers. As a special education teacher at the school, she focused on behavioral needs and autism spectrum students for an international population of students in grades 5-12+.
Dr. Perry earned a PhD in educational leadership/special education from the University of New England. She holds a master of arts in education from the University of Connecticut with a minor in mathematics, and earned her educational leadership certificate from the University of New England. She earned a bachelor of arts in special education with a concentration in mathemaatics.
Education Administrator of Data Analytics
Scott Hurwitz will transition into a new role as education administrator of data analytics. In this role, Mr. Hurwitz will be responsible for providing data associated with federal and state requirements as well as school accreditation. Reporting to Dr. Thomas McBryde, the district’s deputy superintendent of excellence, equity and inclusion, he will be responsible for a variety of duties associated with the acquisition, management, analysis and reporting of educational data for district departments and schools, including developing protocols to ensure data accuracy. Ms. Barbara Wood will serve as interim principal while a search is underway for the next principal of Brien McMahon High School.
Mr. Hurwitz joins the district office from his role at Brien McMahon High School, where he has served in various roles over his 26 year career in Norwalk. Since 2017, he has been principal at McMahon, where his work has included overseeing the development of the school’s International Baccalaureate diploma program, as well as the development of of career related programs such as McMahon Healthcare Academy and Marine Science Academy Brien McMahon HS. His work has included collaborating with outside organizations in support of innovative programs, such as the CT Rise Network, which helps students succeed through data-driven innovations and improved systems. He also currently serves as a member of the Connecticut Accountability Advisory Group.
He served as assistant principal at the school from 2008-17, supervising academic departments, overseeing all aspects of school safety preparedness, and working with students, families and teacher to ensure successful progress towards graduation. Mr. Hurwitz joined the school in 1996 as an English teacher, and also served as class adviser, newspaper adviser, freshmen baseball coach, yearbook adviser and NEASC accreditation chair.
Mr. Hurwitz holds a Sixth Year certificate in Educational Leadership from the, a Master of Science in Secondary English Education from the University of Bridgeport, and a Bachelor of Arts in English with a Minor in History from the University of Connecticut.