CDE Announces New Head of Special Schools and Services

The State Special Schools and Services Division (SSSSD) has a new director. Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond has named Robin Zane to the position.

Zane, who is deaf, has worked with hearing and vision-impaired students for decades, Thurmond said.

From a press release

...In her new role as SSSSD Director, Zane will oversee California's Schools for the Deaf in Fremont and Riverside; the California School for the Blind in Fremont; and Diagnostic Centers located in Fremont, Fresno, and Los Angeles. She will work collaboratively with the Special Education Division to ensure that services are provided to students with exceptional needs under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and provide technical assistance and consultation to local educational agencies (LEAs) in the education of deaf and hard of hearing and visually impaired students. The SSSSD employs approximately 1,000 staff.

Zane has worked in the SSSSD since 1997, beginning her service as a middle school English teacher in the California School for the Deaf (CSD) in Fremont. This role transitioned into summer school principal for elementary, middle and high school at CSD, before Zane settled into the role of middle school principal, a position she held until 2006. From there at the CSD, Zane went on to become the supervisor of Curriculum and Media Services (CAMS), the program coordinator for Beginning Teacher Support Assessment (BTSA), the supervisor of communication and speech services and then finally in 2012, the director of the Diagnostic Center, Northern California in Fremont, a position she held until she was appointed director of the SSSSD.

Zane earned her bachelor’s degree in English literature from State University of New York at Buffalo; her master’s in special education from Boston University; a certificate of advanced studies from Harvard University, where she was recognized with a Conant Fellowship Award for Boston teachers; and her Ed.D from University of California, Berkeley.

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