Graphic reading: KDE News, Kentucky Department of EducationGretta Hylton, associate commissioner in the Kentucky Department of Education’s (KDE’S) Office of Special Education and Early Learning (OSEEL), was elected as president-elect of the National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE) during its annual business meeting on Oct. 18. Hylton has served as secretary-treasurer of the NASDSE Board of Directors since 2017.

As associate commissioner of KDE’s OSEEL, Hylton leads the state’s governance of the implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Hylton also oversees the Kentucky School for the Deaf (KSD) and the Kentucky School for the Blind (KSB).

Since NASDSE was founded in 1938, KDE staff have filled the role of NASDSE president only twice. Hylton will become Kentucky’s third president of the organization, following Gwen Rutherford in 1951-52 and Stella Edwards in 1968-69. 

“I am honored and humbled to be chosen by my colleagues to serve and represent special education directors of the nation’s 60 states, territories and entities,” said Hylton. “Through a continuous improvement mindset, as the president-elect I am committed to the expansion of this premier organization to continue providing high-quality support to state directors across the nation, while remembering the ultimate goal of our work is to improve outcomes for students with disabilities and their families.”

Amy Patterson, KDE’s IDEA data manager, also was elected as chair of the NASDSE’s Special Education Data Manager Affinity Group (SEDMAG). As IDEA data manager, Patterson leads the state’s work around the collection, validation and submission of special education data to the U. S. Department of Education. Patterson is Kentucky’s first chair-elect of SEDMAG. 

“I am humbled by the opportunity to engage with the nation’s special education data mangers to improve data quality and awareness to provide better opportunities for students with disabilities. I am excited to partner with my associate commissioner, Gretta Hylton, in serving Kentucky and the nation in this endeavor,” Patterson said.

NASDSE is a premier membership organization that supports state leaders of special education throughout the United States and its territories.