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New SELPA Director

Elizabeth (Beth) Shepherd joined the Lake County Office of Education (LCOE) as the Special Education Local Planning Area (SELPA) Senior Director beginning July 1, 2020. She brings a wide-range of special education experience to the community. 

Brock Falkenberg, Lake County Superintendent of Schools says, “We welcome Beth and are excited about her breadth of experience. Her enthusiasm for coming to Lake County in this capacity is very exciting.”

Shepherd’s impressive list of experience includes leadership roles at the county level, district office level, and site level.  She has also taught elementary school, grades K- 6, and has been a teacher of 6-12 grades at Court School. Shepherd is relocating to Lake County from the Central Valley.

“I have dedicated my entire career to the education of children, teachers, and administrators,” says Shepherd.

Shepherd is taking over the position from Patti Langston, who is retiring.

Langston has over 28 years in special education experience at the site, district and county levels, and has spent the last 10 years at the Lake County Office of Education. While at LCOE, Langston spent a significant amount of her time specializing in Autism. As a member of the State Cadre, she learned Evidence Based Practices for students identified on the spectrum, and was able to come back to Lake County to coach and train teachers on those practices.

Falkenberg says, “Patti is fantastic! I have never met an educator that is more motivated and dedicated to educating at-risk students.”

Although she is retiring, Langston says she intends to stay involved in the special education in Lake County, which will include advocating for special education and writing curriculum.

It is Shepherd though, who will now be responsible for the development and implementation of SELPA goals and priorities for Lake County. Among her duties, she will work within LCOE assuming full management responsibilities for SELPA, and will fulfill requests for services from the Lake County School Districts. She also bears the responsibility to ensure that the Lake County SELPA remains in compliance with rules, regulation and laws, both state and federal.

Shepherd says, “I look forward to collaborating with and supporting Lake County’s school districts, partner agencies, communities, and parents in our profound and important work of delivering excellent educational services and programming to our students with special needs in ways that ensure that every student thrives.”

For more information about Lake County’s SELPA, please visit