Director of Special Education
Cara Cleveland received her B.A. in Psychology from James Madison University. She started her career as a case manager assisting families with securing housing after experiencing homelessness. After a few years of working in that capacity she realized her passion was working with children and specifically with children with disabilities. She began her teaching career in Lynn, a large urban district outside of Boston. After two years in the classroom, working with students in a substantially separate setting, she returned to school and received her Master’s Degree in Education with a concentration in Moderate Disabilities.
She continued her teaching career in Lynn and moved through a variety of special education programs over the years. It was during her time in the Life Skills program that she found her passion for creating curriculum around community based instruction. She worked to create pre-vocational experiences for students at the middle school level. She is passionate about inclusive education and making all students feel like valued members of the school community. In her time as a classroom teacher she also coached cross country, track and field and basketball for middle school students.
In 2019, she transitioned to a leadership role as Special Education Department Head. She oversaw multiple special education programs and supported over twenty staff members. During this time she also led the first Inclusivity Panels within the school. She mentored students through the YPAR (Youth Participatory Action Research) process where they studied the effects of implicit bias on student perceptions of school. Through this work she was able to elevate student voice and work to create a more inclusive school experience for all students.
In her free time, she enjoys relaxing with her husband and son. She is excited to explore the west coast!