Portland Public Schools’ Patti Dyer wins special education award

The Maine Association of Special Education Directors has chosen Patti Dyer of Portland Public Schools as the Special Education Support Person of the Year. She was honored at the group’s annual awards banquet in Bangor.

Dyer has worked as executive assistant in the district’s Student Support Services Office since 1996. Her responsibilities have increased significantly during that time. She now supervises six special education compliance secretaries, handles the voluminous paperwork required for Medicaid/MaineCare billing and other budgeting and provides executive secretarial support for the special education director.

“At any given moment, I can ask Patti for a budget update, and she can produce it immediately on her elaborate spreadsheets,” said Sharon Pray, student support services director. “Patti knows each invoice, what it is for and will catch any inaccuracies.”

Nancy Connolly, special education consultant for the Maine DOE, described Dyer as “the heart and soul” of Portland’s special education program, adding, “Patti has a very positive attitude while in the midst of very challenging situations.”

Special education directors of Cumberland County nominated Dyer for the award, and she was selected from a pool of nominees throughout Maine.