New Special Education Director Named at CDE

Heather Calomese has been appointed California’s Special Education Division Director. She stepped into the role August 18.

“Heather is an accomplished leader in the special education field with a depth of knowledge regarding high-level special education laws and policies,” State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond said in a news release. “She is a strong advocate and champion for all students and believes that individuals should be lifted and supported to access the greatness that lies within. She brings to the position extensive experience with equity, human rights and social justice issues along with an unwavering focus and commitment to do what is best to ensure the needs of special education students and their families are being met. I am pleased to add an educator with her passion and dedication to the CDE leadership team.” 

Calomese replaces Kristin Wright, who currently works for the Sacramento County Office of Education. She has worked in education for two decades and previously served as Executive Director of Special Education for the Illinois State Board of Education.