Special Services

The mission of the Cartwright Special Services Department, through leadership and collaboration with all stakeholders, is to identify implement and evaluate effective educational programs for students requiring special services based on individual strengths and needs. This is accomplished through communication, training and support of professionals and instructional assistants, ensuring implementation and compliance of special services programs.

To ensure the timely identification of students in need of support, our school staff may screen your child on aspects of your child’s functioning such as hearing, vision, academics, language, behavior, social skills, cognition, perception, and/or motor skills. Screening is an informal process of quickly rating skill strengths and weaknesses. Should you have any questions regarding to the screening process, please feel free to contact your child’s teacher or Special Services at 623-691-4090.

Special Education Services

For Special Education Records call 623-691-3971 or fax 623-691-5924

Cartwright's well-trained professional special educators effectively serve a broad range of students eligible for special education services through individualized planning and instruction.

Specialists serving our students with disabilities include special education certified teachers, school psychologists, speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, music therapists, teacher specialists, interventionists and instructional assistants trained to serve students, grades Pre K-8 who have at least one of the following conditions: autism spectrum disorder,, developmental delay, emotional disability, hearing impairment, other health impairment, specific learning disability, mild, moderate or severe intellectual disability, multiple disabilities, multiple disabilities with severe sensory impairment, orthopedic impairment, speech/language impairment, traumatic brain injury, visual impairment, as well as preschool moderate delay, preschool severe delay, and preschool speech/language delay. Students must meet eligibility requirements to enroll in a Special Education program.

The Special Services department also includes professionals who specialize in working with students that may need related services. Related services may include speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and/or assistive technology.

The goal of Special Education is to help students become independent learners, to teach learning strategies to prepare them to be successful in their regular classes, and to prepare them for high school and post-secondary experiences. This goal will be achieved through a partnership between student, home and school.

Dr. Cecilia Sanchez
Director of Special Services

Dr. Sanchez has been the Director of Special Services since 2012. She is passionate about equity in education and ensuring children who require special services receive the differentiated instruction they need to reach their fullest potential. Prior to her role as director, Dr. Sanchez was the proud principal of Manuel Peña Jr. Elementary from 2005-2012 and prior to that she served as Cartwright Elementary's assistant principal. Cartwright Special Services is committed to the district's mission and vision makes steps towards making them a reality every day!
Meredith Jewell-Seara
Assistant Director of Special Services
The Cartwright School District has been Meredith’s home almost her entire life. She attended Harris, Spitalny, Sunset and Desert Sands as well has held a variety of positions.
With her love of this district, once graduating from high school in 1993, she became an employee while pursuing her teaching degree. She’s held many positions from custodial work, bilingual para-educator, bilingual secretary to crossing guard. Before she became a certified employee in July 2002. She has taught at Sunset and Manual “Lito” Peña Elementary Schools and was also the Language Support Specialist at Manuel ‘Lito’ Peña Elementary as well as Behavioral Support Specialist in Special Services and the Assistant Director of Special Services. She currently hold two Master’s Degrees in Curriculum and Instruction and in Administration. She earned both from Northern Arizona University. Her home is Cartwright and the amazing families we serve. I look forward to many more years of serving the Maryvale community and all the learning we will do together
Christine Tupick
Administrative Coordinator
Before coming to work for Cartwright School District Christine supervised a Pharmacy Program for uninsured and under-insured clients at Coos County Family Health Services in Berlin, NH. After 13 years in the Health Industry in NH her family relocated to Arizona where she began working at Cartwright School District in Special Services. She finds it very rewarding to be part of a school district that strives for the success of their students.
Cammie Solis
Administrative Technician
Before Cammie Solis came to Cartwright she worked for many years in the state of Texas, with the Even Start Early Child and Parent Literacy Program teaching Adult ESL, nutrition and parenting classes. Since coming to work at Cartwright School District in 1997 she has worked as an aide in the classroom, with the Language Acquisition Department and for the past five years has been working with the Special Services Department as an Administrative Technician.
Diana Begazo
Administrative Technician
Both of Diana's children attended Cartwright School District and she first became involved as a parent volunteer and later became an employee in 1998. She enjoys being part of the Special Services department, where she feels she can do her small part to ensure all our students are getting the education they deserve. She especially tries to be available to assist in the sharing of information between special services staff and our Spanish speaking families.
Connie Willis
Administrative Technician
Connie's children grew up in the Cartwright School District, and after many years of volunteering at their various school functions, she took the opportunity to apply for a position in Special Services. She hass been the district Medicaid Coordinator since 2016. This position is rewarding, as it allows her to ensure children and their families have access to needed services and support. ​

Marie Belcher
Administrative Technician
Before she came to the Cartwright District to serve as Instructional Assistant in 1989, Marie had been volunteering at Byron A. Barry School as the PTA Treasurer and President as well as Barry Little League Treasurer. In 2006 she became a part of the Language Acquisition Department and in 2008 she transferred to her current position in the Special Services Department. She's been a part of the Cartwright Family for the last 25 years and she couldn’t be happier or prouder.
Julianna Hernandez
Administrative Technician
In 2008, Julianna worked for the Cartwright School District for the LFI at Starlight Park until 2011. She loves working with kids and helping parents with understanding and knowing about their kids education. She also went to school for Cosmetology and loves to do makeup and hair. Now, she do both things she loves!
Soledad Regalado
Administrative Technician
Soledad Regalado started as a playground monitor at Cartwright School District. Later, she worked as a librarian assistant and teachers aide combined positions. She enjoyed those years being around kindergarten students. Then, she became part of the Special Services Department where she has been most of the time since she started at Cartwright.
Val Madrid
Administrative Technician
Val Madrid has been with the district for many years. She first started out at the District Child Care Center and later transferred to Special Services where she enjoys assisting our staff and families.
David Hernandez
Data Specialist (SPED)
David joined Cartwright School District during the 2013–2014 school year. He is a proud member of the District Data and Assessment Team with an emphasis on special education and gifted students. Prior to Cartwright he worked as classroom teacher, team leader, assistant principal, principal and assistant director of literacy in various school districts nationwide. He had the opportunity to be a member of the Board of Directors for International Reading Association as their first Hispanic member of their organization (at the time). Currently, he is the Political Action Chair for the Cartwright Education Association and the Region 7 Director for Arizona Education Association.
Mary Morrison
Special Services
Mary's experience in education includes 23 years teaching K–12 special education, general education and college level classes in school districts in Arizona. Mary has worked as a diagnostician, social emotional learning specialist and was Director of Alternative Education for another school district. Her personal and professional goal is to help all individuals reach their fullest potential.
Kate Garis
Kate Garis
Gifted Specialist
Kate Garis is the Gifted Education Specialist for the Cartwright Elementary School District. This is her 17th year in Cartwright. Kate worked at John F. Long Elementary School for eight years and this is her ninth year working in the Gifted Department. She has a Bachelor's of Arts in Elementary Education from Ottawa University and Masters of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction from ASU.
Dr. Kisha Nosov
Psychologist on Special Assignment, District Out-Placement Coordinator
Dr. Nosov has been at Cartwright for 4 years. As the Psychologist on Special Assignment, she oversees students in Private Placements, serve on the district PBIS Team as well as advocates for and represents the School Psychologists on all of our campuses.
Kyle Martinez
Behavior Support Specialist
This is Kyle's first year in the Cartwright School District. Previously he worked in Avondale as a special education teacher. He has his undergraduate degree in psychology and education and has his Master's in special education. He absolutely loves working with behavior and finding out what makes kids tick.
Kristie Sharer
Move on When Reading Coordinator
Kristie grew up in Western New York. She and her husband are raising two girls, two cats and two guinea pigs. She holds a Master's in Early Childhood Education. She has been teaching for 19 years, the last 10 have been with Cartwright. She taught preschool, kindergarten, 1st, 3rd, 6th grade and reading intervention.
Kayla Busse
Gifted Resource Teacher
Kayla Bushas been in education for ten years! She found her enthusiasm for gifted education as a classroom teacher in a neighboring district. She worked with a team of educators to develop a gifted education program to support the gifted students in that district. She has been lucky enough to spend her last five years in the educational field here in the Cartwright School District working with identified gifted students and the teachers who strive everyday to provide the best for them. She is passionate about education and ensuring that each student gets exactly what he or she needs in that moment. She cannot wait to see what this year brings.