Ibanez Becomes Haverhill Schools’ Interim SPED Director as MacDonald Leaves for Malden

File photograph. (Image licensed by Ingram Image.)

Haverhill schools have a new interim special education director in Debbie Ibanez who takes over from Pamela MacDonald who is becoming an assistant superintendent in Malden.

Haverhill School Committee members last Thursday approved promoting Ibanez, who currently serves as assistant director of Special Education. She has 20 years of experience in special education, has served as a SPED administrator for five years and worked in Haverhill for the past three years. She said one of her “best” experiences in Haverhill has been her involvement with unified sports teams.

“It’s just been a great opportunity to see both regular ed and special ed work together side by side. It’s a wonderful thing and I will definitely support that going forward,” she told the School Committee.

School Committee member Scott W. Wood Jr. made the motion to appoint Ibanez to the interim post for the school year. The job is one of only a handful filled directly by the School Committee.

MacDonald took the Haverhill job in 2017. At the time, it was noted that Haverhill had cycled through several interim and permanent directors following the retirement of longtime director Maurice Covino in 2014. Between Covino and MacDonald, the job was performed by Kyle A. Riley, Theresa Senio and Jean Kelly.

School Committee member Paul A. Magliocchetti praised MacDonald’s work.

“She was a breath of fresh air and brought stability to the department. We went through a few years where it was very chaotic,” Magliocchetti said.

Mayor James J. Fiorentini couldn’t help but notice that Ibanez majored in chemistry since the mayor’s father, John Fiorentini, served many years in the Haverhill High School Science Department.

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