Rebecca McHaney

Leading the District’s Special Services Department with Fairness and Compassion
By Rebecca McHaney, Director of Special Services

My name is Becky McHaney and I am starting my fifth year as the Director of Special Services for Madera Unified. I have spent the majority of my life in Madera, attending Madera schools, graduating from Madera High School, and now giving back to the community that gave so much to me. As the youngest daughter of 10 children, my family’s support allowed me to be the first in my family to attend and graduate from college. I received a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies and a master’s degree in Special Education both from California State University, Fresno. 

This is my twenty-fourth year serving as an educator in Madera Unified. I spent nine years as a special education teacher, 7 of which were spent at Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School and two at Jack G. Desmond Middle School. I also served as a Program Specialist for 8 years and as the Coordinator of Special Services for 2 years before becoming the Director. It was during my time as a special education teacher, I was able to fully grasp and understand what is an invisible disability. Our society often thinks of disabilities as something that can be visibly seen. We can see when someone is in a wheelchair, those who are blind or even have physical needs. However, there are many individuals, like my former students, and students currently enrolled in our schools, whose disability cannot be seen. Students with invisible disabilities look like everyone else, and their disabilities don’t have to define who they are or how far they will go in life. With high expectations and appropriate accommodations, any student can be successful! 

Fairness is about giving each student what they need in order to be successful.

Through all of my roles within the district it has been my goal to ensure that I advocate for students with disabilities. Part of the core values of Madera Unified is equity before equality. I wholeheartedly support the belief that fairness is not giving all children the same thing. Fairness is about giving each student what they need in order to be successful. Equitable education can lead to equitable outcomes for all students.


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