Special Education Staff
Meredith Adams, M.Ed.
Supervisor of Special Education - Elementary
(610) 269-8460 Ext# 11410
Meredith Adams is the Elementary Supervisor of Special Education for East Ward, Shamona Creek, Springton Manor, Lionville Elementary and Uwchlan Hills Elementary Schools. Prior to joining the Downingtown Area School District Pupil Services team, she oversaw the Delaware County Intermediate Unit’s (DCIU) Early Childhood Programs as well as the Preschool Special Education Program (Early Intervention), School Age Low Incidence Programs and related service providers.
Ms. Adams holds a Master’s degree in Special Education from Pennsylvania State University as well as a Supervisor of Special Education Certification from the Pennsylvania State University. Ms. Adams also holds Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) certifications in Elementary Education and Special Education.
Degrees and Certifications
Master’s degree in Special Education from Pennsylvania State University
Supervisor of Special Education Certification from the Pennsylvania State University
Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) certifications in Elementary Education and Special Education
Caitlin Leonard, M.Ed.
Supervisor of Special Education - High School
(610) 269-8460 Ext# 11411
Caitlin Leonard is the Special Education Supervisor for Downingtown High School East, West, and the STEM Academy. Mrs. Leonard began her teaching career with Avon Grove Charter School District co-teaching as the Special Education Teacher in the regular education classroom, as well as a supplemental learning support teacher. Mrs. Leonard subsequently served as a Supervisor of Special Education, and then later the Director of Pupil Services.
Mrs. Leonard holds a Bachelor of Science in Special Education and Early Grades from West Chester University, a Masters of Special Education, concentration in Assistive Technology/UDL from West Chester University, and a Post Masters Supervisor of Education Certification from Slippery Rock University.
Degrees and Certifications
Bachelor of Science Degree in Special Education and Early Grades from West Chester University
Masters of Special Education with a concentration in Assistive Technology/UDL from West Chester University
Post Masters Supervisor of Special Education Certification from Slippery Rock University
Kimberly Bankes , M.Ed.
Supervisor of Special Education -Transition Program
(610) 269-8460 Ext# 11417
Mrs. Bankes is the Supervisor of Special Education Transition Services within the Downingtown Area School District. Mrs. Bankes supervises students’ post-secondary transition services and the Transition Program while serving as the district’s Transition Coordinator. Mrs. Bankes holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Kutztown University, a Masters of Education with an emphasis in Social Emotional Learning from Neumann University, and a Post-Baccalaureate Special Education Supervisory Certificate from Gwynedd Mercy College. Additionally, Ms. Bankes holds teaching certifications in Elementary Education K-6, Special Education N-12, Highly Qualified status in English 7-12, and Leadership Administration and Supervision Certificate. Mrs. Bankes also completed the PA Secondary Leadership Transition Certificate in 2013.
Ms. Bankes has had extensive experience teaching diverse learners within autistic support, life skills, emotional support, and learning support environments from grades 4 to 21 while having a strong emphasis on transitional planning and services. Mrs. Bankes began her career at Exeter Township school district for 5th/6th-grade supplemental support. She then served as supplemental autistic, emotional, and learning support for Owen J. Roberts School District and had time as a 4th-grade general education teacher within the same district. Immediately before accepting the role of Supervisor of Special Education, Mrs. Bankes taught as a 9-12th learning support teacher for Downingtown East High School for nine years while also serving as the district’s Transition Coordinator. Mrs. Bankes works with the IEP teams, students, parents, the district, and community resources to help plan and coordinate transitional outcomes for DASD students.
Jon Otto, M.Ed., BCBA
Supervisor of Special Education - Low Incidence K-12
(610) 269-8460 Ext# 11414
Mr. Jon Otto is the Supervisor of Special Education in the Downingtown Area School District since 2017. Mr. Otto is the Supervisor of Special Education for the Low Incidence Programs that service grades K-12 in the areas of Life Skills Support, Autistic Support, Multiple Disabilities and Transition Programs across district. He is responsible for overseeing programs located at Beaver Creek Elementary, Bradford Heights Elementary, West Bradford Elementary, Uwchlan Hills Elementary, Pickering Valley Elementary, Springton Manor Elementary, Marsh Creek 6th Grade Center, Downingtown Middle School, Lionville Middle School, East High School and West High School.
Mr. Otto began his professional educational career working at a residential treatment facility that specialized in helping individuals with disabilities. He brought this background with him when he worked as a Behavior Mentor for the Communities Helping Adolescents with Autism Make Progress (CHAAMP) as part of the Chester County Intermediate Unit. Working within the community-based program, Mr. Otto specialized in assisting behavioral modifications and team centered approaches to assist individuals with Autism build upon skill sets that would prepare them for independent life in post-secondary settings.
Prior to his employment at DASD, Mr. Otto was a secondary Autistic Support Teacher at Child and Career Development Center (CDC). His time at CDC was dedicated to instructing, programming and supporting adolescents with significant academic and behavioral needs in transitional outcomes both within a classroom and community setting. Mr. Otto continued expanding his educational behavioral background when he worked as TAC consultant for the CCIU in 2014.
Mr. Otto has extensive background in serving students within low incidence planning and programming. He has secured a B.S. in Psychology from Pennsylvania State University in 2005, a Masters degree in Education from Cabrini College in 2009, and has attained CREDITS/HOURS towards earning a Board Certified Behavior Analyst Certificate. He is certified teacher in the areas of Special Education, N-12 as well as Elementary Education. In addition, Mr. Otto has procured a Post-Master’s Supervisory Certificate from Delaware Valley University in 2016.
Sallie Seidel, M.Ed.
Supervisor of Special Education - Middle Level
(610) 269-8460 Ext# 11416
Sallie Seidel has served as the is a Supervisor of Special Education – Middle Level since September 2019. She is assigned to the following schools: Marsh Creek 6th Grade Center, Downingtown Middle School and Lionville Middle School. Ms. Seidel holds a Master’s degree in Special Education and Post-Masters Supervisory Certification from Pennsylvania State University from the Pennsylvania State University, B.S. in Special Education from West Chester University, and an Associate in Arts degree in Early Childhood Education from Delaware County Community College. Ms. Seidel also holds Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) certifications in Special Education and Secondary English. Previously Ms. Seidel taught 8th grade learning support at Lionville Middle school for 16 years.
Holly Sawyer, Ed.D.
Supervisor of Special Education - Elementary
(610) 269-8460 Ext# 11415
Dr. Holly Sawyer is the Elementary Special Education Supervisor for Beaver Creek, Bradford Heights, Brandywine Wallace, Pickering Valley, and West Bradford Elementary Schools. She attained her Doctoral Degree from Widener University in School Systems Leadership in 2016. Additionally she holds degrees in special education and supervisor of special education from Millersville and Shippensburg Universities. Prior to joining the DASD team, Dr. Sawyer was the Director of Special Education at Susquenita School District and the Director of Student Services at Penns Valley Area School District.
Special Education Support Staff
Administrative Assistant, Grades K-5 Support
(610)-269-8460 Ext# 11406
Administrative Assistant, Grades 6-12 Support
(610)-269-8460 Ext# 11407