September 21, 2020
Inver Grove Heights Schools Assistant Director of Special Education, Abel Riodique, will become the district’s Director of Special Services at the beginning of October as current director Mary Garrison retires after 8 years of service to the district. Mr. Riodique and Mrs. Garrison have worked closely together in the Special Services Department throughout their careers with the district.
In addition to the connections he has built with staff and families as assistant director, Mr. Riodique brings nearly 20 years of special education experience to the position. He holds a master’s degree in special education and earned an Education Specialist in Educational Leadership degree. His work experience includes teaching students with moderate to severe disabilities and developmental disabilities, such as autism, and before starting at ISD 199, he was the special education resource coordinator for St. Paul Public Schools.
In his position as assistant director of special education, Mr. Riodique has worked to identify and support equitable practices to decrease suspensions and referrals for special education evaluations. He has facilitated a number of programs and built procedures to provide the best possible education for all students.
As Mr. Riodique steps into the role of ISD 199 Director of Special Services, the district wishes current director Mary Garrison all the best in her retirement. Mrs. Garrison has tirelessly advocated for students in the district, provided resources for families in some of the most difficult situations, and led staff with insightful advice and understanding. Her dedication to every ISD 199 student will not be forgotten as she leaves the district to spend time with family and begin her next chapter in retirement.
This press release was produced by the Inver Grove Heights Schools. The views expressed here are the author’s own.