Gallo nominated for US ED special education post

What do you know about Glenna Gallo?

On 12 November 2021, U.S. President Joseph Biden nominated Glenna Gallo for the post of Assistant Secretary in the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. Since 2017, Ms. Gallo has been Assistant Superintendent of Special Education Services for the state of Washington’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction and she served in a similar role for the state of Utah (more later), so she has administrative experience.

U.S. Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona, to whom Ms. Gallo will report, expressed his happiness with the nomination in a press release for the U.S. Department of Education: Statement by U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona on President Biden’s Nomination of Glenna Gallo.

President Biden’s announcement of the nomination included this description of her background:

Glenna Gallo has served as the Assistant Superintendent of Special Education in the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) in Washington state since 2017. During her time as Assistant Superintendent, Washington state has increased funding for special education programs while implementing statewide inclusionary practices to ensure all students with disabilities have access to a high-quality education. Prior to that, she spent seven years as the State Director of Special Education for the Utah State Board of Education (USBE), following work as a classroom teacher and administrator. She has over 25 years of public education experience supporting students with disabilities and adults entering and within the teaching profession, and 16 years of experience in state-level educational leadership with expertise in the improvement planning, data analysis, and monitoring of public pre-K-12+ special education programs. Gallo has a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Special Education, a special education teacher and administrative licenses, endorsements as a Program Administrator, Principal, and Superintendent, and an MBA.

Here are a few points to help readers understand Ms. Gallo’s background:

  • In her previous position in Washington, Ms. Gallo’s office was “responsible for ensuring the provision of special education and related services on behalf of more than 130,000 eligible students in Washington” (see here).

  • Prior to serving in state-level administration in Washington, Ms. Gallo had occupied similar positions in Utah: (a) State Director of Special Education for seven years and State-Federal Compliance Officer for two years (see Ms. Gallo’s LinkedIn page).

  • She was a Education Specialist for nearly four years in the Greater Salt Lake City area and a special educator for over seven years for the Jordan (UT) School District (also LinkedIn page).

  • She previously served in leadership positions. Among other service, she was on the board for the Utah chapter of the Council for Children with Behavior Disorders and served as president of the National Association of State Directors of Special Education (LinkedIn).

  • Ms. Gallo completed an undergraduate degree in special education at University of Nevada—Las Vegas and graduate studies in special education at Utah State University (MS) and Western Governors University (MBA) as well as school administration at Utah State University (LinkedIn).

  • She published her masters thesis in 2006 on functional analysis and treatment for students with EBD in Education and Treatment of Children:
    Gallow-Wilson, G., Higbee, T. S., Rasgon, K. A., & Davey, B. J. (2006). Classroom-based functional analysis and intervention for students with emotional/behavioral disorders. Education and Treatment of Children, 29(3), 421-436. https://www.jstor.org/stable/42899894

  • The Council for Exceptional Children has a blog post about Ms. Gallo’s nomination; the post notes that her appointment will have to be approved by the U.S. Senate.

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