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3 new State Department of Education Directors announced

Spencer Barzee, Meghan Wonderlich and Julie Mead
Spencer Barzee, Meghan Wonderlich and Julie Mead

BOISE, Idaho (KIFI) – Superintendent of Public Instruction Debbie Critchfield welcomed a new Director of Special Education, Director of Content and Curriculum and Director of the Eastern Idaho Regional Support Services. These changes come as the new administration continues to work towards fully staffing the department following January’s transition.

“We’re thrilled to have Spencer Barzee, Meghan Wonderlich and Julie Mead join our academic team at the State Department of Education,” Chief Deputy Superintendent Ryan Cantrell said. “We’re committed to hiring dedicated educators to lead our academic initiatives. Spencer, Meghan and Julie are highly respected Idaho practitioners, committed to serving our students, families and schools throughout the state.”

Barzee will fill a new role in the SDE as Director of the Eastern Idaho Regional Support Services. Throughout his 20 years in education, he has taught mathematics in middle school and has served as an elementary principal, high school principal and athletic director. He is now in his 11th year as superintendent of the West Side School District in Dayton, Idaho. He holds a bachelor’s degree from BYU-Idaho, a master’s degree from the University of Idaho and a doctorate from Northwest Nazarene University. He will start with the State Department of Education in August.

Wonderlich will serve as Director of Content and Curriculum. She brings over sixteen years of experience in education to the department and has a background in both instruction and administration. She served as a math teacher at Meridian’s Rocky Mountain High School, as assistant principal at Syringa Middle School in Caldwell and as principal of Caldwell’s Jefferson Middle School.

Mead replaces former Special Education Director Charlie Silva, who retired in 2022. She brings a passion for ensuring that students with disabilities have equitable access to high quality education. In her twelve years as an educator, Julie has served as a school psychologist and Director of Special Services for the Caldwell School District. She also brings a background of work with Idaho Special Education Support and Technical Assistance (Idaho SESTA), where she served as director. She holds education specialist degrees in school psychology and education leadership/special education directorship from Idaho State University and Northwest Nazarene University, respectively. Her master’s degree is in human exceptionality from Idaho State University and she is currently enrolled in ISU’s doctoral program.

“I’m confident that the addition of these talented individuals will help us to best serve our educational communities,” Superintendent Critchfield said. “Bringing in the right people for the future of Idaho’s students is a top priority of mine, and I think that Megan, Spencer and Julie are all uniquely suited for the work ahead of them.”

Article Topic Follows: Education

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