Southfield Schools’ Special Education Director Recognized with Gwisdalla Award

Dr. Lanissa Laura Freeman, director of the Intense Student Support Network for Southfield Public Schools, was honored on Sept. 11 with a Gwisdalla Award for her work in the special education field.

Photo courtesy of Oakland Schools

The recognition is given out annually by the Special Education Administrators of Oakland County (SEAOC). The Gwisdalla Award was created in honor of Gregory Gwisdalla, who was the director of special education at Oakland Schools from 1997-2001.

Dr. Freeman works tirelessly to provide individualized education programming to meet the needs of all students and ensure compliance with all state, federal and local requirements. Her work in Southfield Public Schools has improved the quality of programs and services provided to students. She is the former president of SEAOC, has served on the Oakland Schools Teaching and Learning Council, and has supported numerous initiatives throughout Oakland County and the state of Michigan to promote positive outcomes for students with special needs.

“Dr. Freeman is incredibly deserving of the 2019-2020 Gwisdalla Award,” said Dr. Connie Thompson, Special Education supervisor for Southfield Public Schools. “She models best practices in all areas of her work, whether working directly with students, facilitating meetings with parents or interacting with teachers and administrators. Her contributions to Southfield Public Schools are invaluable.”

Dr. Freeman has a Bachelor of Science in Cognitive Impairments, a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership, an Educational Specialist Certificate and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction, all from Wayne State University. She participated in the Yale University School Development Program in 2000 and was a member of the Harvard National Institute for Urban School Leaders in 2010.