Heather Guilkey has been named the 2019-2020 director of special education. Guilkey is currently the process coordinator for secondary school students. She has been in teaching and supporting roles for special education for the past 14 years and has dedicated the past six of those to the students of Kearney School District.
“Heather will be a thoughtful and confident leader for our district special education programs. Her expertise in federal programs is valuable, but it is her relationship with parents and teachers which sets her apart. This skillset will ensure the very best opportunities for our district’s special needs students,” said Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Bill Nicely.
Guilkey began her career in education in support roles assisting special education classrooms in the Lawson School District. In 2006, she started her full-time career in teaching and spent the next five years with the district. In 2013, Guilkey accepted her first position with the Kearney School District where she taught Life Skills at Kearney High School for four years. During that time, she was a leader in her department serving as the department head in 2016-2017. She also dedicated her time to students as the Junior Class sponsor, Science Olympiad sponsor and assisted with school dances to ensure that her special education students would feel comfortable attending the events without their parents. In 2017, Guilkey accepted the role she is currently in as the process coordinator for secondary students and in-district autism consultant.
“For the last six years I have worked mostly with our secondary students and families which always meant that I was only seeing the last half of their journey. I am excited to now have the opportunity to work with our elementary students and families so that I can be a part of the entire journey, early childhood through graduation,” Guilkey stated. “The best part of my job is watching students grow and succeed.”
Guilkey attended Southeast Missouri State University where she earned a Bachelor of Science. She also holds a Master of Education in Special Education from Northwest Missouri State University. She earned a Specialist degree in Educational, School and Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Mental Health Practices in Schools from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2017. Guilkey is currently finishing her dissertation as part of the Educational Leadership doctoral program from William Woods University.
She and her husband James have 3 children and one daughter-in-law: Jonathan and Anna, Jordan, and Haley.
Guilkey will start her new role in July. She replaces Angie Currey, who recently resigned from her position to pursue other opportunities.