NICEVILLE, Fla. — The Okaloosa County School Board has approved the appointment of Dr. Zoila Ganuza as the school district’s specialist of student services.
Ganuza has worked as a nationally certified school psychologist for the Okaloosa County School District (OCSD) since January 2012, the OCSD said in an announcement.
In addition to completing bilingual evaluations across the district, over the past 10 years, Ganuza has been assigned to Longwood Elementary School, Pryor Middle School, Choctawhatchee High School, Elliott Point Elementary School, Antioch Elementary School, Child Find, Wright Elementary School, and Lewis School.
According to the OCSD, Ganuza helped develop the first Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) manual, has participated in all manual updates, and has trained school counselors, teachers, and administrators on MTSS.
Additionally, she has worked with Management Information Systems (MIS) to develop the progress monitoring plans that our district has used to document interventions.
The OCSD said Ganuza has consistently worked with its Exceptional Student Education (ESE) Department to update the process of the identification of disabilities.
Ganuza has been a board member of the Florida Association of School Psychologists for five years. The association advocates for the field of school psychology and provides support to districts across Florida on current and new changes to ESE procedures, eligibilities, and statutes, the OCSD said in its statement.
Born in El Salvador, Ganuza immigrated to Minnesota with her family when she was three years old.
After earning a scholarship to attend a college-preparatory high school, Ganuza attended Beloit College in Wisconsin. In college, she played soccer, majored in psychology, and minored in Spanish.
After college, Ganuza attended the University of Minnesota and earned a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and specialized in School Psychology and Disability Policy and Services.
She met her husband, Seth, in Minnesota and moved to Okaloosa County in 2011 following his enlistment in the Army. Before that, he served four years in the Marine Corps.
Ganuza said she is excited and ready to enhance MTSS in Okaloosa by supporting school teams, increasing consistency across the district, and ensuring that students are provided with direct and individualized support and/or appropriately evaluated for suspected disabilities.