The Argyle ISD Board of Trustees approved the hiring of Dr. Mark Ruggles as the new Director of Special Education during the Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021 regular meeting held virtually.
Ruggles previously served as Lake Dallas ISD's Director of Special Populations, which included the duties of leading the Special Education Department. He became Lake Dallas ISD's Director of Special Education in 2012 and moved into his latest role in 2020. He will lead this new locally-managed department in Argyle ISD, which will begin serving Eagle students in the 2021-2022 school year. The district will be leaving the Denton County Special Education Cooperative following this school year.
Ruggles started his career in Lake Dallas in 2003 and served as a Licensed Specialist in School Psychology before he was hired as the district's Director of Special Education.
While leading the department in Lake Dallas, Ruggles ensured a coordinated continuum of services between response-to-intervention, dyslexia, Section 504, and special education systems. He established community partnerships to support program goals, recruited, selected and trained personnel, and also served as the District Coordinator of School Improvement. He also facilitated the implementation of best practices and research to maximize student growth.
"Being part of a district such as Argyle ISD, known for excellence, is exciting," Dr. Ruggles said. "Having a leadership role during the district’s transition to locally-managed special education services is even more exciting. I look forward to serving the students, faculty, and broader Argyle community in this position."
Ruggles will soon begin the process of hiring personnel for the new department, which will include 17 positions.
"As an experienced director, we are excited to have Dr. Ruggles in Argyle ISD as we transition to building this department locally to best serve the needs of our students and families," Argyle ISD Superintendent Dr. Telena Wright said. "His knowledge of leading and sustaining a successful department will bring great value to our district."
Ruggles is a graduate of Centenary College of Louisiana and earned his Master's in Counseling Psychology from the University of North Texas. He holds a doctoral degree in School Psychology from Texas Woman's University.
Argyle ISD elected to leave the co-op due to the district's current and projected enrollment growth and the need for providing more locally-managed services to best serve students and families.