Bringing a wealth of experience and knowledge in serving the most vulnerable student population, new Director of Student Services / Special Education Mary Jude Doerpinghaus and Coordinator of Student Services / Special Education Stacey Lillard were introduced to the Milpitas community at the August 25 meeting.
Mary Jude comes to Milpitas Unified School District with 15 years of experience as an administrator for Special Education, most recently serving as Director of Special Education at Pleasanton Unified School District. Prior to that, she was Assistant Superintendent, Director and Coordinator in San Carlos.
“I appreciate the opportunity to serve in this community,” said Doerpinghaus, who was immediately attracted to MUSD’s Culture of WE commitment. “That whole concept of being inclusive and working to support all really is a passion of mine. … I’m very happy to be part of that collaborative process as we serve our students, our staff and our community.”
Stacey has worked as a Special Education Principal for Santa Clara County programs for the last four years. She has developed partnerships with district colleagues, families and community members in the county, and most recently with Milpitas HS. As principal, she worked her team through several challenges, including meeting the unique and extraordinary needs of students with a range of disabilities.
“The collaboration component as well as the focus on social-emotional learning and the Culture of WE definitely resonates very intimately with me,” Lillard said. “I have a special place of empathy and place in my heart for what the parents are experiencing and going through as part of the distance learning environment. It’s a never-ending level of support that they have to provide to their children. As a team, we have to keep that in mind.”