NCSI Director Rorie Fitzpatrick and and Associate Director Michele Rovins set the vision for NCSI as well as provide administrative oversight.
Fitzpatrick and Rovins bring more than 40 years of combined experience in promoting outcomes for children and youth with disabilities across special and general education, having served as teachers and administrators at the school, district, and state levels, and as technical assistance providers on a large scale.
Rorie Fitzpatrick has worked in education for more than 20 years, and has significant expertise and experience at the statewide level in improving results for students with disabilities. She came to WestEd having served as Nevada’s Interim State Superintendent, a position she held by appointment of Governor Brian Sandoval.
Fitzpatrick’s previous responsibilities included serving as Nevada’s Chief Deputy State Superintendent and Nevada’s Director for Special Education and Federal and State School Improvement Programs.
Before joining Nevada’s state education agency in 1998, Fitzpatrick was a faculty member at the University of Nevada, Reno. She has provided early intervention services in center-based and natural environments, as well as taught early childhood special education in inclusive and self-contained settings.
Through Fitzpatrick’s years of experience as a senior SEA leader in special and general education roles, she has built lasting relationships with national colleagues, policymakers, and researchers, and brings these important perspectives to NCSI work.
Michele Rovins has 25 years of experience in the field of education, and over 15 years of experience managing a portfolio of ED contracts including 7 years creating and implementing collaborative communities. She specializes in the areas of capacity building, systemic change, technical assistance, dissemination, technology systems development, implementation, and evaluation, and has worked to improve educational outcomes for students with and without disabilities.