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
gthompson@gcasd.org


Mr. Mark W. Herman
Principal
(717) 597-3226 ext. 20500
mherman@gcasd.org


Mrs. Ashley Martin
Assistant Principal 
(717) 597-3226 ext. 20503
anmartin@gcasd.org

Mr. Michael McManus
Assistant Principal 

(717) 597-3226 ext. 20503
mmcmanus@gcasd.org

Mr. Fred Yelton
Guidance Counselor
(717) 597-3226 ext. 20521
fyelton@gcasd.org


Mr. Jeff Longfellow
School Psychologist
(717) 597-3226 ext. 30521
jlongfellow@gcasd.org


Mr. Clark Flohr
Learning Support Teacher
(717) 597-3226 ext. 20113
cflohr@gcasd.org


Mrs. Tanya Forrester

Learning Support Teacher
(717) 597-3226 ext. 20109
tforrester@gcasd.org


Mrs. Julie Franchi
Learning Support Teacher
(717) 597-3226 ext. 20113
jfranchi@gcasd.org

Mrs. Noello Vo
Learning Support Teacher
(717) 597-3226 ext. 20103
nvo@gcasd.org

Mrs. Christine Wilkinson 
Emotional Support Teacher
(717) 597-3226 ext. 20112
cdaly@gcasd.org


Mrs. Holly Tyler
Life Skills Teacher
(717) 597-3226 ext. 20303
htyler@gcasd.org


Mrs. Brenda Lieboldt
Autistic Support Teacher
(717) 597-3226 ext. 20301
bleiboldt@gcasd.org


Mrs. Cathleen Reese
English Language Learning
creese@gcasd.org


Mrs. Susan Purnell

Speech and Language Therapist
(717) 597-3226 ext. 30178
spurnell@gcasd.org


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


Mrs. Meredith Ankerbrand
Physical Therapist
(717) 263-5147
mankerbrand@physicaltherapyetc.com

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