Statewide Group Honors Special-Education Leader

Dan Heitzman, director of special education for Northview Public Schools

Dan Heitzman, director of special education for Northview Public Schools, recently received statewide recognition for his service and leadership. Heitzman was awarded the Patricia Gilcrest-Frazier Award from the Michigan Association of Administrators of Special Education.

The award is given to a deserving special-education director of a public school district.

It was a well-deserved honor, said Laurie VanderPloeg, director of special education and early childhood for the Kent ISD: “Dan is an exceptional leader who has touched to lives of so many children and families for many years.”

Superintendent Mike Paskewicz called him the best special-education administrator he was worked with in 40 years in public schools.

“His ability to see the entire spectrum of general education and special-needs education has resulted in the improvement of our services to all children in Northview,” Paskewicz wrote in a letter of recommendation. “Dan has an absolute passion for students and their families.”

Heitzman was an elementary and middle-school resource teacher before taking his current post. He has master’s degrees in learning disabilities and special-education administration from Grand Valley State University.

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Michigan Association of Administrators of Special Education

Charles Honey
Charles Honey is a freelance writer and former columnist for The Grand Rapids Press/ MLive.com. As a reporter for The Press from 1985 to 2009, his beats included Grand Rapids Public Schools, local colleges and education issues. Honey served as editor of The Press’ award-winning Religion section for 15 years. His freelance articles have appeared in Christianity Today magazine, Religion News Service and the Aquinas College alumni magazine. Read Charles' full bio.

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