Interim special education administrator named for Westfield Public Schools

Debra Ecker has been named the Interim Administrator of Special Education for Westfield Public Schools. (THE WESTFIELD NEWS FILE PHOTO)

WESTFIELD – Westfield Public Schools Superintendent Stefan Czaporowski announced this week that effective July 1, Debra Ecker has joined the central office as the interim administrator of special education and student support services. Ecker will replace Dr. Martha von Mering, who has accepted a position in Florida to be closer to family.

Ecker just completed her second year as special education supervisor in Westfield.

“I want to thank Deb for agreeing to serve in this role, and giving us as smooth a transition as possible,” Czaporowski said, adding that Ecker has been “doing a wonderful job” as special education supervisor.

The administrator of special education and student support services oversees approximately 1,100 special education students in the district, as well as supervising the school nurses, Czaporowski said.

Previously, Ecker worked in Springfield Public Schools for eighteen years; first as a teacher for the developmental skills program for intensive special needs students for thirteen years, then as an evaluation team leader for five years.

Before that, Ecker served as a special education teacher in West Springfield for three years and a developmental education and clinical team leader for early intervention with the Valley Infant Development Service in Springfield for four years.

Ecker received her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary and Special Education from St. Joseph’s College. She attended Westfield State for her Master’s Degree in Special Education.

“Despite these challenging times due to the pandemic, I look forward to continuing the important work of serving the exceptional students,” Ecker said.

A search for the permanent filling of the  position will occur in early 2021. As in other district administrative positions, Czaporowski will be forming a search Ccommittee in late fall 2020 that will review applicants, conduct initial and confidential interviews and then recommend a slate of candidates to the superintendent. Members of the Search committee will include teachers, parents, students, a community member, and school district leaders.

Czaporowski said with such late notice, the district didn’t have time to post the position. He added that Ecker will be eligible to apply for the permanent position of administrator of special education after serving as interim.

“Deb has worked very closely with Martha over the last two years, so I’m very confident that it will be a seamless transition. I also want to recognize and thank Martha for her efforts for special education students in Westfield,” Czaporowski said about von Mering.

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