Farmington Schools’ special education executive director honored with Gwisdalla Award


Sarah Davis

Communications Specialist

Mary Zaleski

Director of Communication Services

Press Release
For Immediate Release

Dr. Jacqueline McDougal, executive director of Special Education for Farmington Public Schools, was recognized on May 10 at Oakland Schools with a Gwisdalla Award for her work in the special education field.

The honor is given out annually by the Special Education Administrators of Oakland County (SEAOC). The Gwisdalla Award was created in honor of Gregory Gwisdalla, who was the director of Special Education at Oakland Schools from 1997-2001.

McDougal has served as executive director of Special Education for Farmington Public Schools since 2015. During her time with the district, she has worked to reduce the impact of implicit bias in eligibility and disciplinary practices related to special education. She is a member of Minority Student Achievement Network (MSAN). She serves as the leader of the Michigan Association of Administrators of Special Education (MAASE) Urban Administrators Community of Practice. She has presented at various state conferences, including MAASE Summer Institute and Michigan Council for Exceptional Children.

"I am so excited to see that Dr. McDougal has been chosen as the 2018-2019 Gwisdalla Award winner,” said FPS Superintendent George C. Heitsch. “I value Jackie's expertise in her field and the leadership she provides to our special education department. She is a valued member of our cabinet where her contributions help us all make better decisions. I am so happy that she is being recognized by her peers for all of her hard work."

McDougal previously served as the director of Special Services for Pontiac Public Schools. Other positions held include consulting psychologist, school psychologist and clinical supervisor.

McDougal earned her Special Education Supervisor certification from Grand Valley State University, her Master of Education - Education Leadership from Oakland University, her Doctor of Philosophy - Clinical Psychology from University of Detroit Mercy, her Master of Science - Counseling Psychology Mental Health from University of Southern Mississippi and her Bachelor of Arts - Psychology/Mental Health from Tougaloo College, Mississippi. She holds licensure and certification as a Michigan Licensed Psychologist, Michigan School Psychologist Certification, Michigan School Administrator Certification, and Michigan Special Education Administrator.

To see photos of the celebration, visit

About Oakland Schools
Oakland Schools is a regional service agency that offers support services to school personnel which are best delivered regionally and provide cost, size and quality advantages to those we serve. Oakland Schools is an autonomous, tax-supported public school district governed by Michigan General School Laws and is one of 56 intermediate school districts (ISDs) established in Michigan in 1962.

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