OCDE’s new special ed chief brings strong vision for continuing success of schools and programs

The Orange County Department of Education has tapped Analee Kredel as its newest chief of Special Education Services.

Kredel, who had served as a program administrator with the department, assumed her new role on Oct. 1. She succeeds Dennis Roberson, who retired in August following a 50-year career in public education.

“I’m very excited,” she told the OCDE Newsroom. “The good news is, as a program specialist, I was very hands-on, I know the staff, and there have also been a lot of additional pieces that I’ve been exposed to thanks to my work with Dennis. There’s always more to learn, and I look forward to that process, but I have a lot of great people around me who are supportive, that’s for sure.”

Portrait of Analee Kredel

Kredel joined OCDE in 1997 as an education specialist and adapted physical education specialist within OCDE’s Special Education division. The following year she became a program specialist serving students with autism. She held that position until 2013, when she was promoted to assistant principal.

In 2015, she was named principal, providing instructional leadership for more than 125 students ages 3 to 22. She became a program administrator in 2018, leading OCDE’s highly qualified team of specialists and therapists.

“Analee possesses an extraordinary breadth and depth of knowledge, and she has a strong vision for the continuing success of OCDE’s special schools and programs,” Orange County Superintendent Dr. Al Mijares said.

Throughout her career, Kredel has developed resources, provided trainings and taken on leadership roles at the local, state and national levels.

She notably worked on a state writing team that in 2005 outlined the development of IEP goals — IEP is short for Individualized Education Program — and curriculum for students with the most significant disabilities. The work was commissioned through the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association, and in 2015 she led the statewide workgroup that realigned the guide to reflect the California’s newly adopted English language arts and math standards.

Kredel currently provides training to help districts and county offices implement the guide’s recommendations. She also chairs a new statewide workgroup tasked with developing a access guide that is aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards. That document is set to be published in 2019.

“I think the development of curriculum for students with the most significant disabilities has been a topic for a number of years,” Kredel said. “Certainly, there is curriculum out there that hasn’t always been designed specifically for students with the most significant disabilities. So I could really see our division, as we go forward, implementing and really showing the kinds of results that we want to see as it relates to our students, drawing connections with what their general education peers are learning.”

Serving a unique population of more than 400 students ages 3 to 22, OCDE’s Special Education program offers personalized instruction while promoting skills that are aligned with the state’s standards. Many of the students who enter the program have significant disabilities and are referred by local districts.   

OCDE signKredel says OCDE strives to help all students achieve greater levels of independence.

“When you work with the students that are the most challenged, they tend to be the least independent, and that kind of goes hand-in-hand,” she said. “So if we can create environments where they can interact with peers and become more independent, that’s really what it’s about.”

A product of the Santa Ana Unified School District who was born and raised in that city, Kredel is an active member of the Assistance League of Santa Ana, supporting causes that impact SAUSD students. She currently serves as the coordinator of Assisteens, which organizes the work of teen volunteers.

For her work with the Assistance League and her sorority, Kredel was presented with the Central Orange County Alumnae Panhellenic’s Athena Award in 2012. She served as president of the Carl Hankey International Education Foundation in the Capistrano Unified School District in 2012-13 and is currently board chair for the Goin’ Native Therapeutic Gardening Foundation in San Juan Capistrano.

Along with a bachelor’s degree from California State University, Chico, Kredel has a master’s degree from the University of Northern Colorado, and she earned her educational specialist credential from Chapman University. A resident of San Juan Capistrano with her husband of 20 years, she has a daughter who is currently studying agricultural economics at Purdue University.