special education

Special Education

Iowa’s Area Education Agencies (AEAs) work collaboratively with local school districts, families, and educators to impact the lives of Iowa children, birth through age 21. Special education is specially designed instruction, support, and services provided to students with an identified disability requiring an individually designed instructional program to meet their unique learning needs. The purpose of special education is to enable students to successfully develop to their fullest potential.

The AEA has two major responsibilities in special education: identification of children with disabilities (Child Find) and providing support and related services to those identified children. Services are provided for children from birth through the age of 21 and can be accessed through requests made by parents or school personnel.

Important contacts

Staff Directory


Angelisa Fynaardt, Ph.D.

Assistant Administrator/Director of Special Education

641-682-8591 Email Angelisa Fynaardt, Ph.D.


Alan Schwarte

Regional Director

641-682-8591 Email Alan Schwarte


Michelle Harris

Regional Director

641-682-8591 Email Michelle Harris


Shawn Stringer

Director of District Services

641-682-8591 Email Shawn Stringer


Jamie Cranston, Ph.D.

Regional Director

641-682-8591 Email Jamie Cranston, Ph.D.


Michelle Deshler

Regional Director

641-682-8591 Email Michelle Deshler