NHASEA Awards and Recognition

Awards and Recognition


NHASEA Emerging Leaders of Special Education for 2020-2021

Mary Desharnais – Lebanon School District

Amanda Reed – Regional Services and Education Center

Heidi Greaves – Hudson School District

Jessica Bickford – Pittsfield School District


Congratulations to our Special Education Adminstrator Retirees 2020!

Karen Gallagher, Director of Special Education – Hampstead School District

Anna Williams, Director of Special Services – Seabrook School District

Betsy Gibbs, Director of Student Services – Lempster School District

Meg Bentley, Student Services Director – Salem School District

Cheryl Jacobs, Assistant Director of Student Services – Derry Cooperative

Rosalyn Moriarty, Director of Special Education – Exeter Cooperative

Nancy Pierce, Special Education Coordinator – Granite Hill School


2020 New Hampshire Special  Education Administrator of the Year

Ms. Karen Guercia is the 2020 recipient of the NH Special Education Administrator of the Year.

At its December 13 , 2019  meeting, the NH Association of  Special Education Administrators  (NHASEA) announced that Ms.  Karen Guercia is the 2020  recipient of the NH Special  Education Administrator of the  Year.

Ms. Guercia is the Assistant  Superintendent of Student  Services for SAU 53, serving the  towns of Epsom, Allenstown,  Chichester, Deerfield and  Pembroke and will receive her award at the June 2020 NHASEA Recognition Ceremony. Karen was selected for this honor by a panel of her peers and from an extraordinary group of nominees. Karen has served SAU 53 for over 20 years in a variety of roles and is described by the SAU Special Education Coordinators as an exemplary leader who is intelligent, hardworking, dedicated to the children and parents of the communities and nothing short of phenomenal.   Other colleagues in the SAU described Karen as a leader who focuses upon the social and emotional well-being of all children and youth and that she has had a lasting impact upon the entire educational community.  Superintendents of SAU 53, Peter Warburton and Patty Sherman summarized things by saying Karen distinguishes herself as a true beacon for those students less advantaged and is a true advocate for all children. Among the many initiatives in the SAU, Karen has assisted in developing and leading several alternative program options, she serves on the board of the SAU 53 PACE Career Academy and works proactively with parent groups.

Karen’s education background includes a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, a Master’s Degree in Special Education Administration and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Education Leadership from Plymouth State University.  Prior to working at SAU 53, Karen worked at the Spaulding Youth Center, The Concord School District and Concord Parents and Children, Inc. 

In her leisure time, Karen enjoys spending time with her husband Steve Guercia, her daughter Allyse Guercia Hanlon and her son Zac Guercia.  Her interests include Italian cooking, music, reading and time on the beach in Maine and Aruba.

Executive Director of NHASEA, Jane Bergeron-Beaulieu, describes Karen as an instructional leader who is known for her selfless devotion to the children, youth and families of SAU 53.  She is a visible, accessible leader with talent, energy and a can do spirit that inspires everyone.  Karen is a resource to NHASEA by serving on several committees and is often sought out by colleagues for her expertise, professional advice, and support.  NHASEA is proud to have Karen represent the Association as the 2020 Special Education Administrator of the Year.

Past Recipients

Christine Boston - 2019 Special Education Adminstrator of the Year