Abbie Bohatta couldn't pass up the chance to return to the Somerset School District.
After leaving Somerset for one school year, Bohatta was hired as the new director of pupil services for the Somerset School District. She replaces Shannon Donnelly, who was hired as Somerset's high school principal.
Bohatta served as a special education teacher in Somerset for more than a decade. She left after the 2015-16 school year. She took a position with CESA 11 as a consultant for special education teachers as she worked on her administrative license. She said the position with CESA offered her the chance to see how many other special education departments work. She said the experience broadened her views on how she'd lead a special education department. But she didn't know she'd get the opportunity so quickly.
"When the opportunity to go back to a place I absolutely love came up, I couldn't believe it," Bohatta said of the Somerset opening.
As director of pupil services, Bohatta's three main areas of concentration are special education, gifted and talented, and ELL (English Language Learners). Kay Vader works with the gifted and talented program and Melissa Swanson oversees the ELL program.
In leading the special education department, Bohatta will be working with a staff of 20 teachers and 24 support staff. As a former teacher in the department, she understands what's needed in maintaining the history of strong special education departments in the district.
"The importance of team, that's my big focus. How to mold a team around each student. How do we continue to communicate and reexamine to help support teachers," Bohatta said in describing her plan for the department.
Bohatta said the special education team understands the need for flexibility, because the needs of their students are ever changing.
"In my mind, special education is always fluid," Bohatta said. "Change is the key word is special education."