Albert Lea special services director has worked for district 19 years

Published 10:47 am Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The new Albert Lea Area Schools director of special services is looking to parlay her passion into a successful tenure.

Tami Alphs, 55, started at the position last month.

As director, Alphs oversees the special education department, as well as other areas, such as addressing homelessness and transportation that affects special education students.

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She said she wants to oversee a department that continues to properly address student needs.

Alphs, who is in her 19th year with the district, served as the assistant director of special services last year and has been a case facilitator.

Alphs received her undergraduate and master’s degrees at Iowa State University. She later received her leadership licensure from Minnesota State University-Mankato.

She said she loves her job, noting that each day is different and that she enjoys her coworkers.

“I’m never bored,” Alphs said. “Every day is a new challenge,”

Alphs said Albert Lea employs a children-first philosophy and she enjoys working with each district staff member.

“I love this district,” she said.

Alphs said she wants to ensure special education students are treated like other students.

“I don’t like to see students discriminated against,” she said, noting that there have been times in her career that she has seen special education students being treated like they cannot learn.

“That is not true,” she said. “All students can learn.”

She said she thinks there has been improvement within the district on that aspect.

Alphs has taught at Glenville-Emmons and in central Iowa, and she said she wants students to have a good experience and be proud of their school.

She said she is excited about her new role.

“I’m very excited for the challenge,” she said.

Tami Alphs

Age: 55

Occupation: director of special services at Albert Lea Area Schools

Address: Lake Mills

Family: Husband, Mark, and son, Chris

Fun fact: Alphs enjoys reading, biking and spending time with friends and family

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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