Christine Rath, Interim Superintendent
30 Linden Street
Exeter, NH 03833
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Media Contact: John Guilfoil
Exeter Administrator Honored as Emerging Special Education Leader
EXETER — Interim Superindendent Christine Rath and Special Education Administrator Helen Rist are pleased to announce that District Student Services Administrator Ellen Riiska has been recognized as an emerging leader.
Riiska was honored as a 2018-19 Emerging Special Education Leader by the New Hampshire Association of Special Education Administrators.
The Emerging Special Education Leader award is a new honor created by the NHASEA to support and encourage the development of special education professionals. The winners, including Riiska, were recognized at the organization’s monthly meeting on Friday, June 8.
“Ellen has made an enormous impact in all areas of students services that she coordinates” Superintendent Rath said. “She’s an excellent example of what it means to be a leader in this field, and I have no doubt she will continue to exceed expectations and make life better for students, families and teachers alike.”
Riiska began her career in education as a special education teaching assistant at Somersworth High School in 2002, then became a special education teacher there the following year. She joined Dover High School’s staff in 2007 as a special education coordinator.
She has also worked as the Home School Liaison for SAU 16, which allowed her to build upon all of her skills and expertise to ensure that children have access to the resources they need to be successful students.
She moved into her current role in 2014, and has displayed her tremendous potential and excelled in a leadership role since day one. In addition to serving as Rist’s go-to person on several key student service related issues, Riiska also manages a caseload of out-of-district students.
Despite the challenges families of out-of-district students can face, they all continue to count on Riiska’s advocacy, guidance and support, and confide in her and rely on her expertise.
“Ellen works in the toughest areas of education and continues to serve as a warm, welcoming resource for our students and families,” Rist said. “She is persistent and committed to finding solutions that are in the best interest of students, which truly makes her the essence of what a special education administrator should be.”