Jessica Zimmerman has been named coordinator of intervention and supports for Cape Henlopen School District to provide enhanced support for students with educational disabilities.
Each school has programming for students with special education needs, Zimmerman said, and she looks forward to supporting the needs of teachers, administrators, parents and students in decision making and expanding options to help students with educational disabilities become as successful as their peers.
Right now, Zimmerman said, she is evaluating how students are referred for special education services at each building to ensure the turnaround time for evaluations and services is reduced.
Zimmerman began her career in Lake Forest School District, where she taught for three years before moving to Caesar Rodney School District. In her 15 years with Caesar Rodney, she was a teacher, building special education coordinator and educational diagnostician.
Initially, she said, she thought she would transition into building administration, but her role as an educational diagnostician really allowed her to dive into student services and focus on special education.
A Cape district resident, she wanted to advance her career and focus on supervising special education.
“When this position opened up, it was a blessing,” she said.
When meeting with families whose children have educational disabilities, Zimmerman said she tries to see things through their eyes. Often in such circumstances, she said, parents are told what their children can’t do.
Parents need a support system, Zimmerman said, so she chooses to focus on what the student can do, and helps plan reasonable goals to help the child access the world after graduation.
Originally from New Lisbon, N.J., Zimmerman said she fell in love with Delaware as a Wesley College student working toward a bachelor’s degree in psychology.
Zimmerman earned her master’s degree in elementary education from Wilmington College and holds a certification in elementary education with secondary certifications in English and literature, and special education.
She and her husband Joe, who works for Premier Physical Therapy, live in the Milton area.