Special Education

Welcome to GAMS Special Education Department

Our goal is to help all students see beyond the stereotypes and myths about learning differences and understand that with perseverance, a positive attitude and appropriate help, people with learning differences can soar. Everyone faces challenges and problems. Success lies in how you deal with them.  

Program Overview

Three main components make up our program. First, our department offers replacement math and/or language arts. To meet each individual’s learning needs, highly qualified learning support teachers work with students in small group settings which allows more individualized instruction.

Second, learning support teachers co-teach with other GAMS teachers. This instructional delivery design reduces student-to-teacher ratio and provides more one-on-one instruction within a regular class setting, and since both teachers work with all students, everyone benefits.

Finally, the third component of the program is support services. Our support periods provide ongoing assistance in a structured small group setting in which students receive additional help with concepts taught in all their classes.

The middle school also offers two special reading programs for learning support students. For students who learn best from a phonemic-based program, we use the Wilson Reading System, a program designed to give students a system for sounding out words and for spelling words. Students learn different increasingly difficult syllable types as they move through the program.

The second special reading program, Read Naturally is taught in the sixth grade and then offered as a supplementary reading program in seventh and eighth grades to those students who desire to continue with this program. Read Naturally is designed specifically to improve reading fluency, comprehension and writing skills.

Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our nation. - John F. Kennedy

Human Service Agencies

Franklin/Fulton County ARC
(717) 264-4390

Franklin/Fulton County
Developmental Disabilities Office

(717) 709-4321

Franklin County Children & Youth
(717) 263-1900

Franklin County Information & Referral
(717) 261-2561

Parent Education Network

SAM Service Access and Management, Inc.
(717) 261-1555

Bureau of Special Education Consult Line

(800) 879-2301

Special Kids Network
(800) 986-4550

GAMS Multidisciplinary Team

Chief Educational Officer
(717) 597-3226 ext. 50512

Ginger Thompson
Special Education Director
(717) 597-326-3226 ext. 30517

Mr. Mark W. Herman
(717) 597-3226 ext. 20500

Mrs. Ashley Martin
Assistant Principal 
(717) 597-3226 ext. 20503

Mr. Michael McManus
Assistant Principal 

(717) 597-3226 ext. 20503

Mr. Fred Yelton
Guidance Counselor
(717) 597-3226 ext. 20521

Mr. Jeff Longfellow
School Psychologist
(717) 597-3226 ext. 30521

Mr. Clark Flohr
Learning Support Teacher
(717) 597-3226 ext. 20113

Mrs. Tanya Forrester

Learning Support Teacher
(717) 597-3226 ext. 20109

Mrs. Julie Franchi
Learning Support Teacher
(717) 597-3226 ext. 20113

Mrs. Noello Vo
Learning Support Teacher
(717) 597-3226 ext. 20103

Mrs. Christine Wilkinson 
Emotional Support Teacher
(717) 597-3226 ext. 20112

Mrs. Holly Tyler
Life Skills Teacher
(717) 597-3226 ext. 20303

Mrs. Brenda Lieboldt
Autistic Support Teacher
(717) 597-3226 ext. 20301

Mrs. Cathleen Reese
English Language Learning

Mrs. Susan Purnell

Speech and Language Therapist
(717) 597-3226 ext. 30178

Mrs. Jacqueline Stenger
Occupational Therapist
(717) 597-3226 ext. 40298 / 30513

Mrs. Meredith Ankerbrand
Physical Therapist
(717) 263-5147

Mrs. Penni S. Baker
Learning Support Teacher
(717) 597-3226 ext. 20113