With 21 years of experience in leading and developing programs and services for students with disabilities, both as a teacher and as an administrator, Dr. Jovan Jacobs has been chosen as Pasadena Unified School District’s executive director of special education.
“Dr. Jacobs’ leadership and expertise in the area of special education, along with her focus on inclusion and equity, will positively impact all of our students, programs, and staff,” said Superintendent Brian McDonald. “I am pleased to welcome Dr. Jacobs to PUSD.”
Jacobs previously served as executive director of Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) for the Stockton Unified School District. Prior to SUSD, she served as the first SELPA director for the Compton Unified School District in 2012. Jacobs’ first administrative position was as director of special education and support services with the Alliance College-Ready Public Schools.
Jacobs will be responsible for coordinating the efforts of all relevant agencies, organizations, and key stakeholders to provide services needed by PUSD students. Jacobs’ duties include working to eliminate disparities in achievement and ensure college and career readiness for students with special needs.
Jacobs earned a bachelor’s degree in visual arts from UC San Diego, a master’s degree in special education from Cal State, Dominguez Hills, and a master’s degree in administration with an emphasis in urban leadership from Cal State, Sacramento. In 2012, she received her doctorate for K-12 educational leadership from USC.
A major emphasis in Jacobs’ career has been improving academic achievement for all students, with a particular focus on inclusion and equity. Jacobs has effectively developed educational opportunities for students with disabilities through best practices in leadership development, teacher professional development, and parent community engagement.