Deani Thomas Director of Special Education

The Ames Community School District is excited to announce Deani Thomas as the new Director of Special Education. She is currently a Special Education and Title I Coordinator in Ames, a position she has held since 2019 and will replace longtime Director Darcy Cosens, who announced her retirement earlier this year. 

Thomas obtained her undergraduate degree from Iowa State University, as well as her Masters in Education with a Specialization in Special Education. She is currently pursuing her doctorate in philosophy with a Specialization in Educational Administration, Literacy, and Social Justice, with an anticipated date of completion of May 2022. She is a licensed PK-12 school administrator as well as a special education supervisor and evaluator.

In her current role, Thomas has designed and implemented professional development for teachers and helped evaluate special education procedures. She has actively collaborated with principals, teachers, and families in the design of individualized education programs (IEPs), and revised district protocols for IEP goal writing, progress monitoring, and specially designed instruction. Additionally, she has analyzed data to inform leadership decisions and participated in the creation of equity-oriented systemic and strategic plans. 

Her previous experience included roles as a special education teacher at Ames Middle School, a mentor teacher in the District, as well as an adjunct faculty member in the School of Education at Iowa State University. During that time, she taught on topics such as cooperative learning, Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS), Universal Design for Learning, Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS), and accommodations including assistive technology, modifications, collaboration, and co-teaching. 

Thomas is a highly engaged professional who has participated in a variety of professional development opportunities including presentations at local and national conferences. She has also recently published peer-reviewed articles in publications such as English Education, AASA Journal of Scholarship and Practice, and Journal of Curriculum Studies. 

As a District, we are excited to continue to work with Ms. Thomas and look forward to her leadership within the Ames Community School District. Her new position will begin on July 1, 2021.