BURLINGTON, MA — Mary Houde spent nearly 20 years working in the Wilmington Public Schools and two more in Amesbury, but when she saw Burlington was looking for its next special education director, she saw it as an opportunity she had to go for.
“I was drawn to Burlington because I know that this is a great school district,” she said. “I’m thrilled with the opportunity to work with a great staff and strong leadership team.”
Superintendent Eric Conti announced this week that Ms. Houde has been chosen from a deep and talented pool of candidates to lead the school system’s special education department in the coming years.
“We’re excited to have someone with Mary’s expertise and experience and commitment to kids on our team,” Dr. Conti said. “We’re fortunate to have had a deep applicant pool.”
Ms. Houde spent twenty years working in the Wilmington Public Schools as teaching assistant, alternative education teacher, curriculum team leader for special education, and as the school system’s administrator of special education before joining the Amesbury Public Schools as the director of student services.
“The best part of working in special education is working as part of a team to help a child with a disability achieve all that they can,” she said. “I love creating options that support the needs of all students and specifically hone in on the needs of some individuals in order to expand their strengths and support areas of difficulty.”
Ms. Houde, who holds a bachelor’s degree from Framingham State College, has a master’s degree in Special Education from Gordon College. She earned her certificate in advanced graduate studies in educational leadership from Fitchburg State College.
“My favorite part of the work is trying to think outside of the box and truly specialize what we do for the students as individuals,” she said.
A former colleague, in a letter of reference regarding Ms. Houde, lauded her talent, knowledge, and skill. “Mary is a hands on leader who reaches out to every student and parent to make them feel important, special, and valued. She embodies a number of qualities that make her the quintessential educator and leader that she is.”
(NOTE: The above press release is from Burlington Public Schools.)
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