Dr. Pinello is Named Outstanding Administrator of Special Education

Dr. Craig S. PinelloDr. Craig S. Pinello, Director of Exceptional Learning, is named the 2022 Outstanding Administrator of Special Education by the Council of Administrators of Special Education (CASE). The CASE Outstanding Administrator of Special Education Award is presented annually and recognizes an individual making significant professional contributions to leadership behavior and field practice in the administration of programs for students with disabilities and/or who are gifted. Dr. Pinello will receive his award November 8th in Salt Lake City, Utah in conjunction with the CASE 2022 Annual Conference. 

“We are fortunate to have education leaders like Dr. Pinello at work in the field of special education. Dr. Pinello possesses the necessary demeanor and attributes of a stellar educational leader. Public education belongs to all of us. Because we all have a stake in the outcome, we must hold fast to our collective commitment to public education. Dr. Pinello believes in this and has a steadfast commitment to education. He is, and continues to be, an inspiration to all he serves.” – Dr. Jared A. Cotton, Superintendent

Dr. Pinello has long been a crusader for the development and implementation of programs and initiatives for students with disabilities. He has formulated initiatives in the area of equity and culturally responsive instruction focusing on professional learning for educators and early childhood special education programs. In 2015, Dr. Pinello led the CPS rollout of Project Search, an initiative coordinated with Chesapeake Regional Healthcare, the Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services, The Choice Group, and the Virginia Department Education. Throughout his professional career, Dr. Pinello has been instrumental in developing and mentoring educators of exceptional children. During his early career, he assumed a lead role in developing, monitoring and evaluating Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) for students. As an instructional support teacher, Dr. Pinello worked extensively with classroom teachers to maximize instructional and behavioral programming. During his years as a principal and assistant director, Dr. Pinello provided opportunities and training for educators and staff for five regional public school programs across eight localities. As an assessment specialist, Dr. Pinello worked on training programs and developmental support for schools, administrators and teachers. 

Currently, Dr. Pinello supervises the gifted education and PK-12 special education programs while cultivating effective communications with administrators, psychologists, consultants, transition specialists and Section 504 liaisons. He prioritizes training and development of educators and implementing initiatives in the area of equity and culturally responsive instruction as well as the social-emotional and mental health needs of students. Dr. Pinello accepts this award as the leader of a truly exceptional team- 

“I am often reminded of the quote: ‘I must hurry, for there they go and I am their leader!’ I want all of the members of the Department of Exceptional Learning to know that this recognition is the result of great work on many different levels by many different people.” – Dr. Craig S. Pinello