The Hancock County School District Special Services Department supervises the identification process for students suspected of having a disability. Once identified the district strives to provide all students with disabilities ages 3 through 20 a free appropriate public education in their least restrictive environment based on the Individual with Disabilities Act (IDEA) and Mississippi state law.
In keeping with the district’s vision, Learning Today, Leading Tomorrow, we believe that all students have the potential to be learners no matter what their exceptionality. The purpose of special education is to provide an equal opportunity so that all students can access a meaningful curriculum to foster their unique gifts and potential.
The administration and staff are dedicated to individualizing each student’s educational program to best meet their needs. Our special educators collaborate with parents, regular educators, and support staff to develop appropriate programs promoting student success. Special educators work diligently to improve their students’ academic, social emotional, and behavioral skills to ensure progress at a reasonable rate to meet their individual annual goals.
As our students journey through their educational process in the Hancock County School District, it is our hope they will gain the ability to advocate for themselves and acquire the skills necessary to support a smooth transition into post-secondary education or employment opportunities based on their individual strengths.
Gina Shavers, Exceptional Children Director
228-466-6340 – phone
228-466-6452 – fax
Ms. Gina Shavers
Director of the Office of Exceptional Children
Gina Shavers serves the Hancock County School District as the Director of the Office of Exceptional Children and has held this position since July of 2020. Gina attended the University of Southern Mississippi where she received a Bachelor of Science degree with an emphasis in Special Education, a Master of Education degree in Administration, and a Specialist degree in Administration with a concentration in Instructional Technology. Ms. Shavers also has 54 hours of doctoral work completed. Her work experience includes three-years of classroom experience at Harrison Central High School (HCHS), five years of experience as the Special Populations Coordinator at Harrison County Career and Technical Center, eight-years experience as an Assistant Principal at HCHS, two-years experience as Assistant Special Education Director at Harrison County School District, and four-years experience as Assistant Principal at Hancock High School. The 2022-2023 school year marks Ms. Shavers’ 25th year in education. During her tenure in education, she has served on numerous committees, coached the dance team, driven a bus route, as well as co-sponsoring Skills USA and DECA. She was named Administrator of the Year in 2008-2009 by the Gulfport Chamber of Commerce.
During her time at USM, Ms. Shavers was the recipient of the William Winter Scholarship. It was with this honor that she realized what significant and profound contributions he made to ensure the education of the children of Mississippi. “The only road out of poverty runs past the schoolhouse door,” Winter famously said as he championed the Education Reform Act of 1982. This act was heralded at the time as the most significant state education legislation since Mississippi created its public education system in 1870.
Ms. Shavers grew up in DeLisle, MS but spent most of her married life in Stone County. She has one son, Dylon, who is married to Elizabeth, and two grandpuppers, Cisco and Nala. Ms. Shavers has a deep-seated passion advocating for special needs children and adults that leads back to her father. In her free time, Ms. Shavers enjoys rescuing Boxer puppies, celebrating Halloween (year round), and binge watching Supernatural on Netflix.