Rachel Burley's Biography
Director of DeKalb County
My career with the Northeast Indiana Special Education Cooperative began in 2010. Since that time, I have been acquiring skills, knowledge, and experiences that have allowed me to support the unique needs of children with special needs while working collaboratively to problem solve and overcome the many unique barriers to education.
I began training as an educator while studying Elementary Education at Tri-State University. Upon completion of my degree, I began working with young children ages birth through three as a Developmental Therapist with First Steps. This was my first formal experience working with both families and children with special needs. This experience sparked a drive to learn more about the field of Special Education. Shortly after this experience, I worked towards the completion of my Masters in Special Education: Moderate to Severe Needs from the University of Louisville.
I have had the pleasure to educate children in both Kentucky and Indiana. Most of my experience in the classroom has come from my time teaching in Northeastern Indiana. I have worked with children and families from birth to adulthood as they navigate special education services. While I have worked with students and families in a variety of capacities, my specialty is working as an Applied Skills Teacher and Emotional Disabilities Consultant, with most of my time spent at Hamilton Community Schools.
I have served as a teacher leader through a variety of capacities within local districts and at the Northeast Indiana Special Education Cooperative. Over the years that interest in leadership has grown into a passion to work cooperatively with the educational community to promote successful outcomes for all students. This led to the completion of my Directorship Licensure from Indiana University. In 2018 I left the classroom and began work as a Program Supervisor with NEISEC. In this position, I was able to transition from a teaching role to a leadership role through building capacity among educators related to evidence-based practices and policies in education, collaborate with stakeholders across districts, and efficiently manage resources within the constraints of policies, budgets, and program needs. This experience has led to my current role as DeKalb County Director of Special Education. With my vast background working with unique special needs, I had the opportunity to work through an array of challenging barriers to education. I am eager to partner with students, their families, and school district staff to create common goals and a plan to work together towards that goal.