UCS administrator honored statewide for leadership in Special Education
UCS administrator honored statewide for leadership in Special Education
Posted on 06/20/2017
Award winner holding plaque surrounded by friends and families

A Utica Community Schools administrator has been honored with statewide recognition for leadership and service to students with disabilities.

Deborah Koepke, executive director of Special Services, has been awarded the Patricia Gilcrest-Frazier Award by the Michigan Association of Administrators of Special Education (MAASE).

“Mrs. Koepke has extremely high expectations for our students, our staff and herself,” superintendent Dr. Christine Johns said. “She is a strong advocate for students with disabilities and cares deeply about their success in school and life.”

Utica Community Schools services more than 3,300 students with disabilities.

In awarding the recognition, MAASE noted Koepke’s commitment to service, leadership, vision, collaboration and lifelong learning.

“This year’s winner has proven that leading with service first – the notion that it begins with a natural feeling and desire to serve – is essential for emulating trust, integrity, honesty and compassion,” MAASE noted in awarding the honor. “This person is the consummate collaborator and inspires spirited teams. She knows and understands that mutual respect is what sustains extraordinary efforts.”

The award also recognizes Koepke’s personal involvement with families and her focus on building relationships that create success for each student.

Koepke has been with Utica Community Schools since 2013. Previously, she had served as an administrator and teacher consultant at the Montcalm Area Intermediate School District in Stanton, MI. She has also served as a classroom teacher in the Tri-County Area Schools in West Michigan.

The award is named after Patricia Gilcrest-Frazier, who served as the director of Learning Support Services for Flint Community Schools.