Heather Calomese

Chief Policy & Advocacy Officer

Heather Calomese has worked in education for over two decades. From 2000-2002, she taught English and special education in Iowa City and from 2002-2008 she was a special education middle and high school teacher in the Chicago Public School District before transitioning to an administrator role. 

From 2017-2020, Heather was the Executive Director of Special Education for the Illinois State Board of Education where she focused on the alignment of systems and supports for students receiving Early Childhood, Multilingual, and Special Education services. 

Most recently, Heather was the Director of the Special Education Division at the California Department of Education. While there, she helped redesign statewide special education monitoring systems to focus on results for Students with Disabilities and also deepened the collaboration between the State and Local Educational Agencies (LEA). 

Heather holds a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in special education and teaching from the University of Iowa and master’s degree in educational leadership/administration from Concordia University.