Special Education: Meet the Team

Janis Nott, M.Ed., Director of Special Education

 With over 20+ years of experience in education it is my privilege to work with the students, families, and community in Pleasanton ISD.  I believe that ALL students can succeed when given the right tools that support their unique learning needs.  I find it an honor to work with exceptional students and look forward to serving alongside our AMAZING new team!  

On a personal note, I have two amazing children, Jayme and Jessica, an incredible son-in-law Tyler, and three beautiful grandchildren, Rhett(7), Waylon (6), and June (2.5) residing here in PISD.  

If they can’t learn the way we teach, we teach the way they learn!

Elva Silva, Special Education Secretary

I have have had the privilege of working in PISD for the last nineteen years. My experiences include working as a substitute, teacher assistant, front office receptionist, campus secretary, and for the last 8 years as the secretary for Special Programs and as the special education PEIMS clerk.                    

I am a PISD graduate as well as my children.  Now I have the joy of watching my grandchildren start their journey as part of the Eagle family.  I truly enjoy working as part of the Special Education team to ensure all our students in PISD have successful futures.                              

Luisa Peña-Vasquez, Special Education Clerk

Being born and raised here in Pleasanton, I understand the functioning of a small-town community and the pride that comes along with it. I am proud to say, I will be starting my 6th year with the district.  For 3 years, I had the honor of greeting students and parents into Pleasanton Elementary as the student services clerk, and summer learning secretary. This coming year will be my 3rd year as the student services clerk for the Special Education Department. I look forward to coordinating the students’ ARD meetings.

  - Without good communication we cannot succeed.

Nathanael Kindig, Licensed School Psychologist

I’m so excited to be an Eagle! As a school psychologist, I have a passion for making clinical information understandable, relatable, and useful to families, teachers, administrators, and the broader community. Your students bring joy to me each day, and I’m so excited to serve this community with this team!

Linda Menchaca-Mendez, Licensed School Psychologist Intern

Hello, my name is Linda Menchaca-Mendez. I'm in my last year of my Master’s program at Our Lady of the Lake to become a Licensed School Psychologist. I’m excited to put everything I've learned to use and be a part of this great team.

When I’m not here, I enjoy spending time with my family. I enjoy watching my husband and boys doing what they love the most: sports, hunting, fishing, and riding horses.

Dawna Garvin, Diagnostician

I am privileged to have dedicated over 25 years to the field of education, collaborating with learners spanning from bright-eyed 3-year-olds to inquisitive 8th graders across diverse educational settings including inclusion, self-contained, resource, general education, and STEM environments. 

I am excited to leverage this wealth of experience to assess and empower students, ensuring that every individual receives personalized support to excel not only academically but also in their broader pursuits.

Christina Skoog, Diagnostician

I’ve worked in education for 17 years. I spent six years as a classroom teacher, six years as a certified academic language therapist/dyslexia therapist, and finished my fifth year as an educational diagnostician. One of the most rewarding aspects about what I do is the opportunity to collaborate with a team of individuals on specific needs and ways to support students. Everyone involved in the process has something to bring to the table. I look forward to working with everyone and being part of the Eagle family!

Charlee Baker, Diagnostician

I have been teaching for 10 years and have been honored to work for Pleasanton Elementary School as a 5th grade teacher for 6 of those years. I believe that ALL students deserve the best education and opportunities to be successful in their educational journey as well as their daily lives. I am looking forward to this amazing opportunity to work with students and their families to provide resources and opportunities for the students to be successful in their educational journey.

Jeanne Friesenhahn, Speech and Language Pathologist

I've been working in speech pathology for an amazing 23 years! I have 18 years of experience as a speech language pathologist and 5 years as a speech language pathology assistant. I'm also a certified special education teacher. In my career, I've worked in a variety of settings such as public schools, home health, and early childhood intervention. I absolutely love creating positive relationships with the families and children I work with, and I can't wait to bring my passion to Pleasanton ISD!

Perin Koons, Speech and Language Pathologist

I am so happy to become a part of the Pleasanton community! I have been a speech therapist for 12 years working mostly in South Texas. I am passionate about helping children communicate and working with families and teachers to help each child reach his/her maximum potential. I am looking forward to a fun and exciting year!

Jessica Perez, Speech and Language Pathology Assistant

I have been working as a speech language pathologist assistant for 14 years. I am very excited to have this opportunity to serve this community by helping the wonderful children at Pleasanton ISD. I have worked in many settings throughout my years, but am excited to finally plant my roots in the educational setting here in my community.  I look forward to working with everyone and having a great first year with Pleasanton ISD! 

Selina Villarreal, Speech and Language Pathology Assistant

I am very excited to have the opportunity to join the Eagle community. I’ve worked as a speech language pathologist assistant for 20 amazing years. Throughout my career, I have had the pleasure of working with children in a variety of settings including pediatric rehabilitation clinics, home health, and recently joined public education. I look forward to working with the wonderful children at Pleasanton ISD! 

Rebecca Gonzalez, Speech and Language Pathology Assistant

I have been working as a speech and language pathologist assistant in both the home health and school settings for 10 years now. I have always enjoyed working with the pediatric community, and since having my son 5 years ago, it has been an even greater experience getting to work in the school setting. I love getting to connect with parents and teachers regarding our students. Working at the Atascosa-McMullen Co-Op, while serving the Pleasanton Elementary campus has been a genuinely amazing experience.  

Fun facts about me: I love spending time with my son and significant other on the weekends, whether we are fishing or going on fun little adventures that sometimes includes arcades. I also love my college football team Gig Em’ Texas A&M Aggies. 

Melissa Garcia, Speech and Language Pathology Assistant

I have been serving kiddos in a variety of settings  through home health and clinical settings. I have been serving families as a speech and language pathology assistant for about 10 years. I am excited to start in a new setting, striving to help kids be the best version of themselves while having fun. Go Eagles!!! 

Fun facts:  I'm am also a licensed esthetician specializing in waxing and facials. I have two dogs and I'm originally from New Mexico. 

Maggie Robertson, ARD Facilitator

The 24-25 school year will be my 10th year in special education. I have served as a high school life skills teacher and most recently provided services to Pleasanton ISD through my role as a transition coordinator at Atascosa McMullen Co-Op for the past 7 years. I worked specifically at the junior high and high school levels in life skills, and/or those who qualified with AU and ID. I am excited to have the privilege to serve in my new role as an ARD facilitator. 

A little about me personally is I love bad jokes, coffee, and there is a strong possibility that an Amazon package will be waiting on my front porch. My husband is my biggest supporter since the day we met in college and we absolutely love watching our daughter grow up. Warning! If you ask to see a picture, I’ll show you a million.  See Y’all in the Fall! 

Briana Fey, ARD Facilitator

I am excited to be starting my 11th year at PISD in this new position! The last three years I have been a special education/dyslexia teacher at the Pleasanton Elementary and prior to that I taught 2nd and 3rd grade.  I am honored to work for the same district that I grew up in and graduated from. My husband and I have two amazing children.

My own son has a specific learning disability. I want to take my experience as a parent and help other parents navigate through the special education process. I believe that all children are able to learn and be successful, we just have to find what works best for that individual student and give them the appropriate tools in order to succeed.

Elizabeth Biela, ARD Facilitator

I have been in the educational system in some capacity since 2004. I have experience at all grade levels as a  paraprofessional. I have been a 4th and 5th grade classroom teacher, a dyslexia interventionist, and a special education teacher.  I’m super excited to come to Pleasanton as an ARD facilitator next year.  I love seeing student growth and believe every student has the potential to be successful!!

I love interacting with people and look forward to making some new friends next year.  I’m very thankful to have been selected for this position. If you see me around, please introduce yourself, I would love to get to know you!

Megan Machado, Visual Impairment, Adaptive PE, Special Olympics

I have worked in special education for 7 years as a life skills teacher. I am a graduate of Texas Tech where I worked to become a VI teacher. I am a HUGE sports person. I have coached all sports throughout my years, but will be focusing on basketball this year at PHS! I am excited to be on this NEW team and eager to give my all in my respected field! 

On a side note I am a mother of four. My oldest Q is 17, Eastin is 13, Burkleigh is 11, and I close it out with my youngest Milo which is 3. I believe building relationships with my students and those I work alongside is a MUST, I am a little silly…. Actually I am very silly and love to laugh as much as I can, and I cannot wait to see what GREAT things will come out of the SPED Department at Pleasanton ISD!! GO EAGLES!!

Nancy Corpus, Deaf and Hard of Hearing

I am super excited to be a part of Pleasanton ISD!  I have been a dyslexia/AI DHH teacher for the last 11 years.  This included serving in various teaching capacities, a homebound teacher, an itinerant, a resource, and a life skills teacher. I am in the process of taking my Certification Academic Language Therapist license (CALT). I look forward to working in Pleasanton ISD and am super excited to learn from my new team.  

About myself…. I love spending time with my family and have a super supportive husband. We love riding motorcycles, traveling, and the outdoors. I am originally from Houston, Texas and have always dreamed of one day living in S.A. I have a strong love for God and my faith falls in him always. I love seeing the positive in everything and believe God always provides a way. I look forward to meeting you all in 2024-2025. 

Daniel Rodriguez, Occupational Therapist

I am a seasoned professional with over 11 years of experience as an occupational therapist. After beginning my career as a science teacher, I transitioned into occupational therapy, gaining valuable experience in various settings with both children and adults. Thanks to the Atascosa-McMullen County Cooperative, I found myself back in the school environment and am proud of the work we are accomplishing this year.  I look forward to another fulfilling year serving the students of Pleasanton ISD.

A little more about me thanks to Chat GPT 💻:  Alongside his dedication to his career, Daniel treasures his role as a husband and father of two boys. Although his love for football, fishing, and family time runs deep, he humorously acknowledges that these pursuits are currently on hold until his kids grow a bit older.

Monica Flores, Transition Coordinator

I am a seasoned educator (best way to say I have been in education a long time) with experiences spanning over two decades. With a career trajectory that began in 2000, I have traversed various capacities within both charter and public school systems, amassing a wealth of knowledge and expertise along the way.

Returning to Pleasanton ISD with a renewed zeal, I am  eagerly anticipating  embarking on the journey of a new academic year. My multifaceted background encompasses roles as a Special Education Teacher, Academic Counselor, Assistant Principal, Principal in Residence, and Principal, each position contributing to a comprehensive understanding of the educational landscape.

At the heart of my mission lies a deep-seated commitment to advocacy, serving as a steadfast voice for students and families who may otherwise go unheard. 

Jenny Strange, Physical Therapist

I am happy to be able to continue working with students at PISD! I've had the pleasure of providing physical therapy services for the district through the Atascosa McMullen Cooperative for the past two school years. I've worked in multiple settings over the last 15 years, and have come to appreciate every level of ability.

My hope is that when I work with your kids, they look forward to our next visit and I am able to make their lives a bit easier!