WELLINGTON — School officials are bringing a Medina woman on board to help with the special education program.
Nancy Nimmo will serve as the new director of student services, effective next week. She will have a two-year contract with an annual salary of $82,000.
A committee of parents and special education teachers chose Nimmo through a two-week-long interview process that saw a pool of 25 applicants.
She was offered the position Aug. 3.
Superintendent Ed Weber said the position deals mostly with special education and other services for students. Nimmo will replace Lynne Shields, who started in the position in 2017 and plans to leave Wednesday.
Weber said Nimmo’s experience in special education helped her stand out among the other applicants.
“She has clearly come through as that person who came in at the right place at the right time for that position for the next five to 10 years,” he said.
Due to her background, Nimmo said, she has looked forward to working in a position she always wanted to have.
“I’ve been on the front lines as a teacher, it’s led up to this point; and I’ll be honest, this was my goal to move in this direction,” she said. “So I do feel like Wellington is giving me this opportunity to lead in this form of education.”
Nimmo has worked the majority of her career in or near special education, which she said is partly because of her own struggles growing up without special education for herself. She grew up in the 1960s with dyslexia, a condition that makes it difficult to read and spell.
During that time, special education was nearly nonexistent in her school and made getting the help she needed more difficult, she said.
She even recalled a time when one teacher took her and three other students, put them in a dim room with one light bulb and three desks, and made them read on their own. It took her until sixth grade to read at the proper grade level, she said.
Today, Nimmo credits the efforts of caring teachers and her parents’ sacrifices to get good tutors as the reason why she graduated from Catawba College in 1980 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She also received a master’s degree in educational leadership in 2009 from the University of Cincinnati.
Nimmo started her career teaching in North Carolina in 1993 before working as an intervention specialist at Elyria High School in 1998. In 2001, she started working for the Educational Service Center of Medina County for
11 years, first as a transition coordinator and then as a director of special needs. Between 2012 and 2013, she worked as an associate principal for the Medina County Career Center. She most recently worked as a director of special education at Buckeye Schools.
She said she hopes to make a difference in each student’s life while at Wellington Schools.
“You never know if the next president or astronaut or math whiz is sitting in your classroom,” she said. “So we need to give every student an opportunity to achieve.”
The board officially will approval Nimmo’s contract Tuesday during a special meeting. During the meeting, the new Westwood Elementary School principal Erica Ward will meet parents, students and staff.