CU professor named special education administrator of the year

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Mary Kutter

Campbellsville University

Deborah Spalding, assistant professor of education at Campbellsville University, has been named the 2012 Kentucky Special Education Administrator of the Year by the Kentucky Council on Exceptional Children for her service as special education director of the Marion County school system.

"Mrs. Spalding has set the bar high for student achievement in our district, and in doing so has raised the bar in our region and across the state," Dr. Chuck Hamilton, superintendent of the Marion County School District, said.

Roger Marcum, the executive vice president of St. Catharine College and Spalding's previous supervisor, said, "In her role as director of special education/preschool education, she has proven to be a highly effective, child-centered decision maker with problem-solving and conflict resolution skills to assist others in making wise decisions for children."

In public education for 31 years, Spalding retired as special education director of the Marion County school system in September 2012. Spalding began teaching classes at the School of Education at CU in August.

"This is a prestigious honor," Dr. Brenda Priddy, dean of Campbellsville University's School of Education, said.

"Being a special education teacher and administrator has provided me with such a rich life of service," Spalding said. "I get to be a small part of young people finding their path in life, seeing them happy and successful.

"Seeing those young people walk across the stage and receive their diploma is like seeing your own children reach such a milestone in their life. The final piece is after they graduate and even 20 years down the road when you are introduced as their teacher. There is nothing like knowing you were a small part in their way to a successful life."

"Our students are so very fortunate to have this caliber of faculty member teaching them," Priddy said. "We are thrilled to have her as one of our newest faculty in our special education program."

"I cannot think of a more rewarding profession," Spalding said. "I thank God I will have the opportunity to continue teaching these amazing students at Campbellsville University."

A Marion County native, Spalding is a 1975 graduate of Marion County High School. She graduated from Eastern Kentucky University in 1981 with a bachelor's degree in special education for kindergarten through eighth-grade students.

She earned her master's degree in psychometry in 1986. Spalding received her Rank I certification in 2000 and, in 2001, she became certified as a director of special education.

Active in the special education community, Spalding has served on the Communicare board of directors in 2010 and the local interagency council board. She also served on the advisory board at the Anderson County Regional Training Center.

A member of Counsel for Exceptional Children and KYCASE for 11 years, and a member of the local handicap association, Spalding served as chairperson for two years.

She is married to Ronald Allen Spalding. She is the daughter of Edna Mae Allen of Lebanon and the late James Ray Allen.

Spalding and her husband have two grown children, Jason Allen Spalding and Jameson Tyler Spalding. They also have two grandsons, Ty and Zac.