Co-Interim Executive Directors’ Welcome


Dear Colleagues and our ECHO Family,

We wish to extend our sincere sympathy to our students, staff and families regarding the loss of our ECHO Executive Director, Dr. Debra Hooks.  Dr. Hooks had an impressive career serving students with disabilities and was a great leader for the cooperative. We thank her for her leadership and extend our condolences to her family.  She will be missed.

During second semester, we will be serving as co-interim executive directors for the ECHO Cooperative. Committed to the education of students with disabilities, we will work with all of our staff to ensure programs and services continue without interruption. Our role is to support our children, staff and families as we move forward and provide leadership to ensure a successful transition for the new executive director.

As Dr. Hooks was anticipating a retirement date of June 30, 2014, the search has begun to select her successor. The position has been posted on our website and will be advertised nationally to ensure the selection of the best possible candidate to fill this position. The Board of Directors is seeking input from the school community to ensure all voices are heard in this process. A link for a survey is posted on the ECHO Cooperative website.  It is anticipated a new director will be selected in late spring with a start date of July 1, 2014.

As co-interim executive directors, we share a philosophy of open and transparent communication. In keeping with this tenet, we remain available to discuss any questions or concerns that may arise relative to the Cooperative. One of us (Dr. Longo or Dr. Bridges) will be here every day the Cooperative is open.

We look forward to working with the ECHO family. Please contact us with any questions or concerns.


Dr. Margaret W. Longo & Dr. Lela Bridges Webb

Co-Interim Executive Directors