The Richland School District special education department will change its leadership beginning this spring.
Dr. Tracy Blankenship, currently a director in the district's special education department, will become executive director beginning March 1. Dr. Blankenship joined the district two years ago and brings more than 20 years of experience as a special education teacher, instructional leader and special education administrator in schools in and around Oklahoma City. She also holds a doctorate in Educational Psychology with an emphasis in special education.
Dr. Blankenship will transition into the role with the assistance of current executive director Mandy Cathey who will be pursuing other opportunities in the district.
“We deeply appreciate everything Mandy has done in our special education programs and are glad she will continue to serve our students and community,” says Superintendent Dr. Rick Schulte. “I am confident that Tracy will be able to continue the work already underway to ensure our students are supported and successful in their lives.”
Dr. Blankenship’s position will be filled by Zac Carpenter, who was recently hired to be a special education coordinator providing support to the Early Learning Center (ELC) and the district’s student behavior efforts.
Carpenter most recently worked for ESD 123 as director of consortium services, which included serving as the special education director for the Columbia School District in Burbank. A psychologist by training, he has worked in youth services and education for 19 years.
Both Dr. Blankenship and Carpenter will work with special education staff and the district’s Special Education Task Force on ongoing efforts to improve the district’s services and outcomes for the students they serve.