Novi Director of Student Services Receives National Award

Donna Tinberg was moved to tears when the Board of Education recognized her achievement.

Donna Tinberg, director of student services for Novi schools, has been awarded the Outstanding Administrator of Special Education Award, a national award given by the International Council of Administrators of Special Education (CASE).

Tinberg was presented with the award at the CASE convention in Denver and was honored by the Novi Board of Education Thursday night.

"To me, this award should be named after you. You shouldn't just be a recipient," said Board President Bruce Bagdady. "Your passion for what you do, your work ethic, the integrity you bring, the professionalism you bring, the compassion you bring — I don't know how any of it could be improved upon."

The Outstanding Administrator of Special Education Award recognizes individuals making significant professional contributions to leadership behavior and field practice in the administration of programs for students with disabilities and/or who are gifted. Nominees for this award must have had 10 years experience in the field of special education.

"This was a huge honor to be nominated by my peers for the award, and I also appreciate that the board is taking time to recognize this. It's kind of the award that keeps on giving," Tinberg said.

Tinberg has worked as the Director of Student Services for the Novi Community School District for the past 24 years. A graduate of Eastern Michigan University, she has served as president of the Special Education Administrators of Oakland County and the Michigan Association of Administrators of Special Education, as well as Policy/Legislation Chair of international CASE.

Trustee George Kortlandt said he has learned a lot from Tinberg and that the district is very fortunate to have her.

Vice President Dennis O'Connor became choked up while thanking Tinberg for all the work she has done.

"Ms. Tinberg you are truly a jewel in this district…I get emotional because I've enjoyed working with you," he said.

Tinberg also had tears in her eyes while listening to the board commend her and while thanking her staff for all the work they've done to accomplish so much in the past 24 years.

"It's because of them that we can do good things for the kids and for the district," she said.

This is the first time that a Michigan administrator has received this award.

The Outstanding Administrator of Special Education winner is chosen for performing at a high level on the following standards:

  • Makes serving and supporting exceptional children and their parents the primary responsibility
  • Strives to be proficient in current professional practice
  • Supports study and research guided by the conventions of scholarly inquire
  • Respects the privacy of students and parents and holds as confidential information in accordance with State/Provincial and Federal laws
  • Regards colleagues, parents and students with respect, courtesy, fairness, and good faith
  • Upholds and advances the values, ethics knowledge and mission of the profession
  • Fosters and supports maximum self-determination and independence on the part of exceptional children
  • Utilizes impartial professional judgment in evaluating the needs of exceptional children and their parents
  • Accepts the responsibility to provide meaningful training experiences to colleagues, general educators, and the public
  • Promotes the general welfare of exceptional children


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