July 1, 2020

SIOUX CITY, IA (July 1, 2020)—Effective July 1, four familiar faces will be in new roles at Northwest Area Education Agency as we welcome a new director of special education, two new regional administrators, and a new early childhood facilitator. These leaders can be viewed on this new Northwest AEA regional map.

Seth Piro, Director of Special Education
Seth is replacing Jim Gorman, who recently retired, as the Director of Special Education at Northwest AEA. He has worked for the AEA system since 2007. For the past four years, his role at Northwest AEA has been that of a Regional Facilitator (as of July 1, 2020, termed Regional Administrator). He led a team of special education specialists in Region 5, which is comprised of school districts in the southern area of the Northwest AEA territory. Seth can be reached at (712) 222-6268.

Kelly Hoak, Region 2 Administrator
Kelly is a 15-year veteran at Northwest AEA where she has worked as a school- based Speech-Language Pathologist, serving children in preschool to age 21. With the retirement of Don Tisthammer, Kelly will now serve as the Region 2 Administrator to lead a team of AEA employees who serve the schools in the central and northeastern portion of the Northwest AEA area. Please contact her at (712) 222-6306.

Cathy Heizelman, Region 5 Administrator
Cathy will replace Seth Piro as the new Region 5 Administrator. She has worked at Northwest AEA for 11 years and her most recent assignment was as a Special Education Strategist in Region 5. Cathy’s phone number is (712) 222-6246.

Sue Moran, Early Childhood Facilitator
With Cindy Chettinger’s retirement, Sue Moran has been promoted to lead the agency’s Early Childhood team. Sue’s career began at Northwest AEA in 2000 as a K-12 Special Education Consultant. In 2004, she moved to the Early Childhood department where she was hired as a consultant. She has also served as an internal coach for Early Childhood for the past three years. Sue can be reached at (712) 222-6381. 


With offices in Sioux City, Sioux Center, Cherokee, Denison, Le Mars and Onawa, Northwest Area Education Agency (AEA) works in partnership with public and accredited private schools in a 10-county area of northwest Iowa to help assure that all children reach their full potential. The AEA provides special education support services, media and technology services, a variety of instructional services, professional development and leadership to promote school improvement. The Iowa General Assembly created the state’s AEA system in 1975. It is widely regarded as one of the finest in the country. For more information about Northwest AEA, visit www.nwaea.org.

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