New special ed director is a ‘highly collaborative leader’ with experience in a growing district

IUSD has announced a new addition to its Special Education team.

Melanie Hertig, who currently serves as director of Special Education in the Temecula Valley Unified School District, has been selected to take on a similar role in Irvine, where she’ll work alongside Director Erica Hawkes. Her start date is July 1.

Melanie Hertig“Melanie will bring a breadth and depth of experience not only as a special education director in a growing district, but also as a former program specialist and general education teacher,” Superintendent Terry Walker said. “In each role, she has proven herself as a highly collaborative leader dedicated to meeting the needs of each student.”

Walker noted that IUSD’s Special Education department is expected to serve as many as 1,000 additional students in the coming years, assuming a growth rate congruent with the rest of the district. As such, Executive Director Mark Miller has been collaborating with a number of groups to assess the department’s current organizational structure with the goal of providing an optimal level of support for students.

Hertig will help ensure IUSD keeps pace with anticipated growth and complex operational needs.

She began her career as an elementary teacher in the Pomona Unified School District in 1996, and three years later she joined the Temecula district as a middle school teacher. She became a school psychologist in 2001, and in 2006 she was named a program specialist.

In 2011, Hertig was named TVUSD’s assistant director of Special Education, and in 2013 she was promoted to Director of Special Education, as well as Director of the local Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA).

Along with her teaching and administrative credentials, she has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in education/pupil personnel services from Azusa Pacifica University.