Supporting Our Special Education Students: A Spotlight on Kristin Decker

Special education Case Manager Kristin Decker is an Amador County native and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo alumnus. While working towards her master’s in Special Education, she received her Mild/Moderate and Moderate/Severe credentials from National University, a complement to her Social Sciences major and Law minor. Although she didn’t initially set out to become a special education teacher, Kristin soon found that it was exactly where she was meant to end up.

“I had originally intended on getting my general education credential but was advised that a special education credential would help me get ‘my foot in the door,’” Kristin shares. “After my first week of working with our exceptional students, I knew special education is exactly where I was meant to be for my teaching career. I love serving our students and could not imagine being in education without supporting our students with exceptional and individual needs.”

After completing her education, Kristin initially began her career as a vocational technician. Soon after, she became a Moderate/Severe Special Education teacher for the Calaveras Transition Program, eventually going on to become the Inclusion Specialist for the Calaveras County Office of Education. As someone who puts heavy emphasis on relationship-building, Kristin wanted to continue to expand her work with and impact on the special education community. So, in 2022, she became a Case Manager at Visions and began to find her niche within our unique community.

“Relationships are key in this position and it is one of my favorite pieces of what I do. I have wonderful families that I get to establish relationships with here at Visions,” shares Kristin. “It is unique because in a seat-based setting, you don’t typically get to know a parent to the degree that I do here at Visions. It makes it such a wonderful experience to be able to work so closely with both the student and the parent.”

Kristin hasn’t only become close with her special education families, but with the special education staff as well, including other case managers, Special Education Manager Loretta Holder, and Director of Special Education Jessica Lauder.

“Our SPED community is a great one. The teachers are always collaborating and bouncing ideas and suggestions off one another. I know if I have a question, I can send it out to the chat and so many of my coworkers will reply with suggestions and what has worked best for them in the past,” says Kristin. “Jessica Lauder is a wealth of knowledge and information and has been an incredible support to me with some of the trickier questions and situations. Loretta Holder makes me feel appreciated for my work and support to the department.”

“I want to express my deepest appreciation for the incredible work that Kristin does in her role as a Special Education Case Manager here at Visions,” says Loretta. “Her unwavering dedication and compassionate nature in supporting students, their families, and colleagues is truly commendable. Kristin’s expertise in special education and her passion for making a positive impact in the lives she serves shines through in everything she does. Kristin is a joy to work with and an outstanding asset to our organization and community!”

A Career and a Calling

The work our case managers do with our special education community is truly unique. From supporting and assisting with IEPs (Individualized Education Programs) to providing direct instruction to students to working with numerous service providers, our case managers are equipped with a unique set of skills that helps our special education students find success here at Visions.

“I have gained so much knowledge around different SPED procedures. Working so closely with credentialed teachers and gen ed administrators has given me invaluable insight to general education and what our teachers are doing daily to help enrich the lives of our students, not just academically, but socially and emotionally,” says Kristin.

Although she’s only been at Visions for two years, the knowledge and experience Kristin has gained working with our special education staff and families has been invaluable to her career.

“Working at Visions has allowed me to grow professionally in my career. The knowledge I have gained from the different experiences I have had has been so wonderful,” Kristin shares. “I have been exposed to a vast amount of cases allowing me to learn and grow in each situation. I am truly grateful for so many people when it comes to their support, ideas, collaboration and commitment to our students.”


Outside of work, Kristin likes traveling, playing games, and spending time with her five year old daughter, Rylee. Whether it’s adventuring to the local park, the nearest Starbucks, or Disneyland, Kristin loves hanging out with her family outside of the time she gets to spend with her Visions families.

“I love my students, the families and my coworkers. I have learned so much from each one of these people,” Kristin shares. “I am able to meet with students and families in person on a regular basis which continues to fill my cup and teacher’s heart. Coming to Visions has truly been one of the biggest career blessings of my life and I am thankful for my job everyday.”