Adam Boyette is ready. Family photos, degrees, and nine years of evidence that the new Special Education Director is heart and soul a Quitman Panther surrounds a desk organized for hitting the ground and running. Most likely the advice to do so came from his mom, a special education teacher. From GED option teacher to soccer coach to social studies teacher to bus driver to special education teacher, Boyette, who initially had dreams of becoming a lawyer, is now directing a department dedicated to improving the education experience of children with disabilities.
Currently, there are 273 children enrolled at Quitman School District with an Individualized Education Plan. Quitman School District participates in an ongoing statewide effort to locate, identify, and evaluate disabled children from birth through age twenty-one, who have disabilities and live in the area. Early identification of special needs children is important to the growth and welfare of each child, and such information assists in determining present and future program needs. It is our goal to provide a free and appropriate public education to all disabled children, and Boyette is tasked with conducting an awareness campaign on an annual basis, contacting agencies annually, coordinating disability referrals, and initiating the evaluation process for any child referred. Hope Roberts is in the office next to him and is still ensuring that the referral-to-placement procedures, approved by the Mississippi Department of Education, are correctly followed.
Roberts nods in agreement when Boyette explains,
“We make sure the IEPs are done correctly, and we ensure that teachers and schools are compliant with the IDEA law. We are student advocates, but there are no one-sided decisions here. It’s not just me or Mrs. Roberts or a principal or a teacher or a parent who makes a decision that affects the education of a special needs child. It’s all of us. I may be the director, but we are run by committee. Everyone has a part in the decision.”
With eight new employees in a department which staffs 30 of the most caring, patient, and kind individuals he has ever met, Boyette is confident that services will be provided in the child’s least restrictive environment and range from full participation in general education programs to a more self-contained setting in a special education class.
If you know an individual in the Quitman School District from birth to age 21 with a disability who is not currently being served, please contact the Office of Special Education. For further information, contact Adam Boyette, Quitman School District, Office of Special Education at 601-776-3754 or by writing to: Quitman School District, Office of Special Education, 104 East Franklin Street, Quitman, MS 39355.