In her new role as special education parent liaison for the Howard County Public School System, Trish Gunshore spends her time talking with parents as well as collaborating with the county’s special educators. The parent liaison position was created in November 2017 by then-Interim Superintendent Michael J. Martirano.
“I provide direct support to parents, helping them to better understand school practices, exploring solutions, and connecting with parent advocacy and community groups,” explains Ms. Gunshore. “I consult with families before IEP meetings, working closely with the Office of Special Education, Office of Student Services, and the Family Support and Resource Center.”
In addition to having 31 years of experience in Anne Arundel County Public Schools as a special education teacher, department chair, resource teacher, compliance specialist, and special education coordinator, Ms. Gunshore understands a parent’s perspective. She is a parent of a student with an IEP in Howard County schools.
Ms. Gunshore shares the questions and concerns she hears from parents and advocacy groups with Executive Director of Special Education Terri Savage and her team. Dr. Savage’s office uses the data to inform special education resources and training needs for staff and parents.
“We are all here to help” says Dr. Savage. Parents are encouraged to reach out to their school team for help whenever needed — the principal, special education team leader, and teachers. In addition to Parent Liaison Ms. Gunshore, Dr. Savage wants parents to know they are welcome to contact their school’s resource teacher and instructional facilitator from the Department of Special Education as well, adding, “What no one of us can do alone, we can all do together.”
HCPSS Special Education 411
Important Contacts in Special Education
Special Education Staff Contacts
Resource Teachers: School by School Assignments
Trish Gunshore, Special Education Parent Liaison, 410-313-8873, firstname.lastname@example.org