Exceptional Student Education


Parent Resources

It is my pleasure to introduce you to the resources that are available within our county for students with disabilities.

The Department of Exceptional Student Education is comprised of the most caring and dedicated people I have had the opportunity of working beside during my 28 years in education. This department includes ESE Program Specialists, Behavioral Analysts, Occupational Therapists and Physical Therapists that support all our schools, including charter schools and private schools, in multiple capacities. These individuals provide professional development, attend meetings, mentor and model in classrooms the Best Practices in Education.

We are also fortunate to have a group of hard-working, support personnel. Our nurses, interpreters, para professionals, behavioral technicians, and job coaches all work tirelessly to assist our students as needed so every child can have access to the curriculum and graduate with a quality education. As a department, we work collaboratively with the Office of Teaching and Learning, Office of Talent and Development, Office of Assessment and Accountability, Student Services, Florida’s Diagnostic and Learning Resources System, as well as many community agencies to increase student achievement. Through these collaboration efforts, we are proactive with our strategies to enhance student learning and success.

Students are Our Priority Change is Our Reality Collaboration is Our Strategy.  It is my pleasure to serve the students, families and employees of St. Lucie County Public Schools. I look forward to working collaboratively with each of you.

Dawna L. Guiel - Director of Exceptional Student Education



Angela Guerin – Program Specialist
Linda Haisley – Clerk
Stephanie Hardison – Occupational Therapist
Marijo Alsip – School Psychologist
Amanda Battaglia – School Psychologist
Cynthia McBride – PreK Behavior Specialist
Emily Siangco – Physical Therapist
Kerri Charlton – Speech/Language Pathologist
Michelle Smith – Speech/Language Pathologist

The Pre-K team aids in transitioning students from the Early Steps program to the school system. It conducts evaluations and staffings with students referred to the school system by Early Steps.

If you feel your child is demonstrating developmental delays, please contact:

Early Steps – (772) 380-9972

Age 3-5
Child Find – 772-429-4601 or for more information visit http://www.fdlrsgalaxy.org


Inclusive Education means that students with disabilities are supported in chronologically age-appropriate general education classes in their home schools and receive the specialized instruction delineated by their Individualized Education Plans (IEP) within the context of the core curriculum and general class activities.

The Florida Inclusion Network (FIN) provides learning opportunities, consultation information and support to educators, families, and community members resulting in the inclusion of all students. http://www.floridainclusionnetwork.com

Best Practices for Inclusive Education (BPIE) is an internal assessment instrument to facilitate the analysis, implementation, and improvement of inclusive educational practices at the district, school, and education team levels.


FDLRS provides support services to educators, families of students with exceptionalities.  [Visit FDLRS]


The multiagency network for students with or at-risk of emotional or behavorial disabilities. [More information]

Jody Hays
SEDNET Specialist, Region 15
Dan McCarty Middle School
1201 Mississippi Ave
Ft Pierce, FL 34950

McKay Scholarship

Staff Resources

Children at school classroom