Human Services

Career Focus:


Presentation Length:

15 Minutes


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Erin Toninato


Erin A. Toninato, Ed. S.
Special Education Director/Ed. Leadership
South Central Service Cooperative, Mankato

My greatest professional joy has been learning and having opportunities to share what I have learned with others.  I have been able to live out my passion over the last 34 years both in the classroom and as an administrator. I have spent my career advocating for special populations and enhancing positive school cultures that are inclusive for all students.

I completed all of my undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate studies and Minnesota State University- Mankato, earning degrees in Elementary Education, Emotional/Behavior Disorders, K-12 Principal, Director of Special Education, and Superintendent.

I am very proud of being named the 2018 Minnesota Special Education Administrator of the Year.

In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, traveling, reading, cooking/baking (especially with my grandchildren), outside activities, and being creative.

I encourage everyone to find your passion!  “To love what you do and feel that it matters…how can anything be more fun?”

Luannross Headshot

LuAnn Ross

Special Education Teacher

I am a High School Special Education Teacher, specializing in the area of Developmental Cognitive Disabilities. I am driven to help students overcome barriers that impact their learning. I am recognized as an educator who teaches with compassion, patience and kindness. I have 28 years of experience teaching special education and have worked with students at the kindergarten level through age 21. Outside of teaching, I enjoy spending time with my family (especially my new grandson), camping, being outdoors, playing volleyball and relaxing with a good book.


Rhea Schwalbach


I am a 4th grade teacher, and who worked as a Paraprofessional within an Autism program prior to teaching. In my five years of teaching I have learned the importance of building relationships with students so each one feels welcome and safe in my classroom. My classroom door says “excuse the chaos, laughter, and mess, We’re learning” and my room definitely reflects that philosophy. When I am not in the classroom I can be found in the gym coaching and playing volleyball or outdoors biking, hiking, camping or paddleboarding with my husband.

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