Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Exceptional Education Is the Goal for New Director

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Exceptional Education Is the Goal for New Director

Article excerpt

Byline: KEVIN TURNER

FERNANDINA BEACH -- For Pauline Gregory, exceptional-student education is the family business.

Gregory is Nassau County's new director of exceptional-student education. She started her new job Feb. 3.

Her brother, Dan Becton, has been the ESE director in Clay County for 14 years. Her mother, Sarah Becton, was an ESE teacher in Brevard County for 42 years and is now retired.

Gregory got her initial experience with children with special needs when she was a child, she said.

"In the summer and after school, my mother would have her students in our house," Gregory said. "I would play with them while they were there. My love for children with special needs started at an early age."

Before becoming ESE director, Gregory was a Nassau County School District school psychologist for nine years. In that role, she gained experience in crisis intervention and grief counseling.

Now, as the Nassau County ESE director, she's responsible for the services and programs for the county's exceptional students, who range from gifted to developmentally disabled. Some have physical, mental or emotional impairments, she said.

"We're at both ends of the spectrum," she said. "It really encompasses a wide umbrella. We provide psychological services, counseling and nursing services. We have gifted education at every school and gifted teachers who specialize in meeting their needs. I coordinate services for students across the county, trying to meet their needs in the best ways possible."

Some of the students have individual education plans that chart their educational goals, Gregory said.

"We look at their specific needs and program to fit their needs," she said.

Gregory said her mother, who now lives in Melbourne, is proud that she got the job. Her brother is helping her by sharing some of his experiences in Clay County, she said. …

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