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Supporting Erie, Huron and Lorain Counties


Parent Mentors

The Parent Mentors are not employed by the State Support Team but do work collaboratively with the State Support Team, parents and school districts to improve the quality of education for children with disabilities. Parent Mentors are supported by grants from the Ohio Department of Education and employed by a school district or Educational Service Center.

The role of the parent mentor is to guide families through the special education process. This process includes clarifying parents’ rights and responsibilities; to provide information and resources to families and school personnel on education laws, district programs and services, and community resources; to attend Individual Education Program meetings and other meetings, at the request of the parents and/or school staff; and to build collaborative partnerships between families, schools and community agencies for the purpose of benefiting students with disabilities.
The decision to be involved in the Parent Mentor Program is left to each individual school district. The districts that are served by Parent Mentors in our region are listed on the right.

If you need Parent Mentor assistance and your district does not belong to the Parent Mentor Program, you should contact the 
Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities.

For nearly 30 years, Ohio Parent Mentors has helped families navigate local and state special education processes and services so that children with disabilities can get the most out of their educational experience. Using our lived experience and an evidence-based approach, we work in collaboration with families, schools, and agencies to create the conditions for success for your child.

With our support as peers and trained mentors, parents will understand the special education process and become better advocates for their children.

Ohio’s Parent Mentor Project offers all services free of charge to families. 

Together, we can help your student with special needs get the special attention they deserve and find their pathway to educational success.

To learn more, go to

Parent Mentor Contacts

The following districts participate in the Parent Mentor Program and are served by:
Kendis Bender
440-324-5777 ext. 1167
  • Amherst Exempted Village Schools
  • Avon Lake City Schools
  • Columbia Local Schools
  • Lorain City Schools
  • Midview Local Schools
  • North Ridgeville City Schools
  • Oberlin City Schools

Paula Drummer
440-324-3178 ext. 1166
  • Bellevue City Schools
  • Firelands Local Schools
  • Keystone Local Schools
  • Monroeville Local Schools
  • Norwalk City Schools
  • Sheffield-Sheffield Lake City Schools
  • Wellington Exempted Village Schools

Vicki Deel-Lezon
419-627-3900 ext. 3951
  • Edison Local Schools
  • Huron City Schools
  • Margaretta Local Schools
  • Perkins Local Schools
  • Sandusky City Schools
  • Vermilion Local Schools
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