Long-time Sacramento County SELPA (Special Education Local Plan Area) Executive Director Judy Holsinger was lauded by colleagues February 17 in celebration of more than four decades of dedicated service to the education community.
Holsinger, who is retiring after 26 years with the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE), was the guest of honor at a reception attended by close to 200 guests at SCOE’s Conference Center.
Speakers at the retirement gathering cited Holsinger’s appointment to the California Advisory Commission on Special Education in 2006. They talked about her receiving the 2008 Education Partnership Award from the College of Education at California State University, Sacramento, acknowledged her selection by the California Association of School Administrators (ACSA) as 1997 Special Education Administrator of the Year, and recognized her 2014 Outstanding Woman Leader award from the Women’s Leadership Network of ACSA.
Holsinger has been an educator for more than 40 years, serving as an elementary school teacher, special education teacher, special education coordinator and director, and a teacher of graduate students through the University of California, Davis, and SCOE’s School of Education/Leadership Institute. In 2006 she organized the Autism Institute for local district staff, bringing together the University of California, Davis, the M.I.N.D. Institute, and practitioners in the field.
As the SELPA Executive Director, Holsinger coordinated the provision of special education services for students within thirteen school districts in Sacramento County and SCOE programs. She has been hailed as an expert liaison to district superintendents and has saved districts hundreds of thousands of dollars by providing districts with mediation and resolution services within the special education arena.
“Judy has made a lasting impression on the world through the lives of every student, parent, or guardian whom she has met,” said Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools David W. Gordon. “Her smile and kindly manner have given many students—and their families—the courage to continue on their educational journey. Families throughout California have been fortunate to have Judy working on their behalf these many years.”
Among the speakers making presentations were:
- Eleanor Brown, Ed.D., Sacramento County Board of Education President
- Ruben Reyes, Robla School District Superintendent
- Shelton Yip, Napa County Office of Education SELPA Director
- Kristin Wright, State Board of Education Program Consultant
- Don Shalvey, Deputy Director, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
- David Girard, Legal Counsel to SELPA
- Robin Pierson, Ed.D., SCOE Assistant Superintendent, Special Education
- David W. Gordon, Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools