Danielle Heeney has been named the new director of special education in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Catholic education leaders announced Feb. 10.

The appointment becomes effective April 6.

She will lead the three schools of special education in the archdiocese – Our Lady of Confidence, St. Katherine and St. Lucy School for Children with Visual Impairments – and coordinate such services in the 17 archdiocesan high schools, according to a letter by Irene Horstmann Hannan, CEO of Faith in the Future Foundation, and Immaculate Heart Sister Maureen McDermott, archdiocesan superintendent of secondary schools.

Since 2014 Heeney has served as special education liaison at Penn Treaty School in Philadelphia where she managed the implementation and distribution of special education services for an urban public middle and high school with a high population of students with disabilities.

Currently she is a member of the Council for Exceptional Children and has received the U.S. Department of Education’s Urban Special Education Leaders of Tomorrow Grant. She has a high level of knowledge on special-education issues including changes in federal and local special education policies and their impact on students.

A member of St. Monica Parish in South Philadelphia, Heeney earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary and special education from La Salle University, a Master of Science degree in reading instruction from Gwynedd Mercy College, a Master of Education degree in global education policy from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a doctoral degree in educational leadership and management with a concentration in special education leadership from Drexel University.

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Watch for an in-depth profile of Danielle Heeney coming soon on CatholicPhilly.com.