District Administrator Honored as Friend of Special Education

ORANGE, CA — May 27, 2015 — Orange Unified's Special Education Department selected District Administrator Elsie Briseño Simonovski, Ph.D., as this year’s Friend of Special Education. She was selected for her work as the primary designer and key implementer for co-teaching in the Inclusive Classroom, which supports the opportunities for students with disabilities to engage in high-quality core instruction by expanding high school curriculum to over 15 elementary school classrooms.  

“Elsie works to ensure that all learners are given the same opportunities to participate in programs.  We value her as a true Friend of Special Education,” said Denise Mac Allister, executive director of special education.

Each year, Orange County Administrators of Special Education honor those who work to support special education.

Briseño Simonovski’s work in OUSD has spanned a variety of capacities for the Educational Services Division, including the Special Education Department, Office of Accountability and Special Programs, and her current role as Administrator, Academic Content Design for the Office of K-12 Curriculum & Instruction. 

Earning her Ph.D. in Urban Leadership from Claremont Graduate University, Briseño Simonovski has served as a public school educator for over 17 years. Her educational experiences include elementary teacher, instructional literacy coach, project director, middle school assistant principal, and special education district coordinator. Her primary areas of interest include special education inclusive learning, co-teaching, early reading instruction and language development for English Language Learners.


The Orange Unified School District educates approximately 28,000 K-12 grade students in the Cities of Orange, Villa Park, Anaheim, Garden Grove, Santa Ana, and unincorporated county areas.  In partnership with our community, we provide a safe, equitable, and innovative culture of learning for each scholar to have a competitive EDGE as a leader.