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Johnny Collett

Top Special Education Post Could Go to Graduate Education Alumnus

Submitted on December 12, 2017

President Donald Trump has tapped Johnny Collett of Georgetown, Ky., who earned a Master of Arts in Education from Georgetown College in 2005, to be assistant secretary of education for special education and rehabilitative services. That’s the top special education post at the department.

Collett is currently the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) director of special education outcomes, where he helps states navigate disability policy. He received a certification in Learning and Behavior Disorders from Georgetown College.

Prior to his current role with CCSSO, he served as the director of learning services and state director of special education at the Kentucky Department of Education. He’s also served on the board of the National Association of State Directors of Special Education.

"I will work as hard, as strategically, and as collaboratively as I can to ensure that we deliver on the promises we have made to individuals and families in this country," Collett said in recent testimony before the U. S. Senate Education Committee in Washington. No word on when the committee will vote on the nomination.

Collett was a high school special education teacher before working at the Kentucky Department of Education. Before he started his career as an educator, Collet was a church pastor for about a decade.

It was during those years as a church leader that his “commitment to individuals, their particular strengths and diverse needs, and the supports that would help them achieve the life envisioned, was firmly established,” he said. “That commitment continued to be shaped as I began my career in public education.”

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