Eastern Carver County Specialized Services team works hard to meet the goals of the district, as well as continuing to meet the needs of students, families, and staff.
Laura Pingry-Kile, Director of Specialized Services
This is Laura’s 25th year in education and she is excited to start her 12th school year in Eastern Carver County Schools. Laura came to ECCS as a supervisor and has been the director for specialized services for 9 years. Prior to coming to ECCS, Laura had experience teaching all grade levels of special education in the Albert Lea School District and Burnsville-Eagan-Savage District. In addition to teaching, Laura has experience as due process facilitator, coordinator, and staff development coordinator. Laura is from Wisconsin and travels back to visit family often. Laura’s undergraduate degree is from UW Eau Claire, masters from University of Minnesota State – Mankato, and administrative, staff development, and doctorate degrees from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. Laura’s hobbies are camping, hiking, canoeing and spending time with her husband (also in education) and three kids.
Michele Bedor, Supervisor
Michele has been the Supervisor of Early Childhood Programs for the past 6 school years. Michele earned her Bachelor of Education in Elementary Education from St. Catherine University, Master of Education in Early Childhood Special and Regular Education from the University of St. Thomas and her License as a Director of Special Education from Hamline University. Prior to coming to Eastern Carver County Schools, Michele worked for the MN Department of Education and Independent School District 196. Michele supervises all of the district’s Early Childhood programs including; Early Childhood Special Education, Early Childhood Family Education, StormHawks full- and half-day preschool, Early Childhood Developmental Screening, and Family Literacy.
Michelle Cuka, Supervisor
After growing up in rural Minnesota, Michelle has lived in the greater Twin Cities metro area for the past 25 years. She currently lives in Prior Lake with her husband, Jon, their two children, and an aging (but still spunky) Brittany Spaniel. Michelle loves to travel with her family (anywhere with a beach and water). When not traveling, they spend most of their free time cheering the kids on at some type of sport or activity. Michelle’s journey in education has taken her from St. Louis Park, New Prague, Shakopee and now to Eastern Carver County Schools. Her passion for lifting up children and adults with disabilities spans back to high school volunteerism and more summers than she can count working at Camp Friendship (now known as True Friends). Michelle is passionate about creating environments where all students can access their education by recognizing, celebrating and building on the unique strengths each and every student possesses. She says her job rarely feels like a “job,” and she often finds herself reflecting upon what a privilege it is to make a life’s work out of a passion. Building capacity in teachers to do the same is an even greater gift; special education administration has truly been her dream job. She supports the 9-12+ programs at STAR, Chaska High School, Chanhassen High School, Integrated Arts Academy, and the 17-21 program.
Jenny Davie, Supervisor
Jenny started as a Specialized Education Services Supervisor in Eastern Carver County Schools in 2017. She earned her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Minnesota and practiced school psychology in the St. Croix River Education District (SCRED). She also supervised special education services in Hopkins Schools at the elementary and early childhood levels. Jenny is passionate about teaching struggling learners to read, using multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) to support all learners, and helping teachers use data to inform their instructional decisions. For the 2018-2019 school year, Jenny is supervising Chanhassen Elementary (DISCOVER), Carver Elementary (AIM), East Union Elementary, Bluff Creek Elementary (ASPIRE/EMBARK), Victoria Elementary, and Pioneer Ridge Middle School (EMBARK).
Kellie Krick Oborn, Supervisor
Kellie grew up on the river in Hastings, MN. While she now lives in Eden Prairie, her love of the Mississippi and the St. Croix brings her back to the water most weekends in the summer. Kellie, her husband Shane, and their three children, love to boat and island camp. Their favorite spots include Kinni Island, Pepin, Wabasha, and Minnetonka. When they are not on the water, Kellie loves to get her hands dirty. In the summer she enjoys gardening and working on landscape projects, and in the winter she tries her luck at the pottery wheel! Kelli has worked in the field of special education for more than 20 years. Most of her teaching career was with St. Paul and Minneapolis Public Schools, teaching in both mainstream and center-based special education classrooms. Most recently, Kellie spent several years preparing special educators at the University of St. Thomas. Her professional passions include supporting implementation of evidence-based practices, professional development, coaching and reflective practice, and access and equity in education. Kellie is thrilled to join the Specialized Educational Services team as a Supervisor for Chaska Middle School East, Chaska Middle School West, Clover Ridge Elementary, Jonathan Elementary School, Kinder Academy, and La Academia.
Whitney Brauchla, Coordinator
Whitney is the new Specialized Services Coordinator at Chanhassen High school. This is her 5th year in the district. Whitney’s first four years were spent at Chaska Middle School East as a Speech Pathologist. Prior to that, Whitney worked in private practice at St. David’s Center. Whitney and her husband live in Minneapolis with their boxer, Zander. In her spare time, Whitney enjoys reading and spending time with family.
Amy Raffelson, Coordinator
Amy grew up in Savage, MN. She began her teaching career in Minnetonka Public Schools as a Special Education teacher for 8 years in the elementary setting. She taught in a center-based ASD program, as well as a multi-categorical resource room setting. Amy then spent two years in Shakopee Public Schools as an Evaluation Team Teacher, evaluating students from K-12th grade for special education services. Amy is a licensed special education teacher in the areas of Learning Disabilities, Developmental Disabilities, and Autism Spectrum Disorders. Amy currently lives in Shakopee with her husband, three-year-old son, and six-year-old Yorkie-poodle mix. In her spare time, Amy enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and relaxing at home. Amy is the Specialized Services Coordinator at Pioneer Ridge Middle School and Carver Elementary.
Amy and Whitney join returning Coordinators:
Ryan Bellmont – Family Learning Center, La Academia, and Kinder Academy
Erin Valenta – STAR and Victoria Elementary School
Patricia Lange – Chaska Middle School West and Clover Ridge Elementary
Lynne Patterson – Bluff Creek Elementary and Chanhassen Elementary
Jo Dunham – Jonathan Elementary and Chaska Middle School East
Jen Cordes – East Union Elementary and Chaska High School
Jen Hayes – Integrated Arts Academy, Non-Public schools, Homeschool students