Pflugerville ISD hires new health, special education directors

The Pflugerville school district has hired new directors of special education and safety and health.

Cara Schwartz accepted the director of special education position, and Denise Kablaitis accepted the executive director of health and safety position. Both are set to begin their new positions in early September.

She has served in several roles at the Georgetown school district since 2009, most recently as executive director of special and federal programs. In that role, she oversaw special education and dyslexia programs. She also oversaw the district’s compliance of federal rules protecting individuals with disabilities from discrimination.

“The complexity of special education requires both a solid knowledge of regulations and a firm foundation of best practices and innovation,” Superintendent Doug Killian said in a news release. “Cara Schwartz brings these important skill sets to Pflugerville ISD, and we are fortunate that she is joining our team.”

Prior to her work in Georgetown, Schwartz served as a special education teacher in Bryan from 2000-03 and in Navasota from 1996-2000. She has a bachelor’s degree in science from Texas A&M University and a master of education in educational leadership-administration from Sam Houston State University. She is currently pursuing a doctorate from Texas State University, where she recently completed the Superintendent Certificate program.

Karen Jackson had served as Pflugerville director of special education from 2015-17.

Kablaitis — who previously served with Killian at the Hutto school district — is filling the health and safety director position once held by Michael Barrow, who served from 2013-16.

In the news release, Killian called the position critical as student and staff safety is a top priority for the district.

“She has experience creating public-private partnerships between schools and healthcare entities to benefit children and families,” he said. “Ultimately, providing wrap-around social services, including health and safety, is something that will benefit our school district. We are excited for her to become part of the Pflugerville ISD family.”

Kablaitis served in various roles after joining the Hutto district in 2004, including campus registered nurse and most recently as director of health and safety services. In that latter role, she developed, implemented and coordinated a district healthy and safety program.

Kablaitis has an associate’s degree in nursing from Mercy College of Detroit, a bachelor of science in nursing from University of Detroit-Mercy, and a master of science in nursing from Wayne State University in Detroit.

The district is still searching for an assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction.

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