Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency

Family & Educator Partnership

The Family & Educator Partnership (FEP) is part of a statewide network of parents and educators working together to support educators, AEA, and families of children and young adults with special needs.  

What We Do

We support families and educators by attending IEP meetings, being a listening ear for families, helping educators understand the families perspective, and connecting families with resources. We work with IEP teams to open up communication and help the team work together to create a plan for each students unique needs. 

About Our Team

The Family and Educator Partners are parents of children or young adults with special needs and share a unique perspective with families.

McKaylee Heuton

McKaylee has been with Prairie Lakes AEA since March 2019. Previously she was a Family and Educator Partner with Heartland AEA. She recently went through the Iowa Family and Leadership Training Institute. She is currently on the Iowa Early ACCESS Council and is the Iowa family support rep for the Phelan-McDermid Syndrome Foundation. Her daughter was diagnosed with Phelan-McDermid Syndrome at 5 months old. Along with that diagnosis comes developmental delay, motor skill delay, hearing impairment, health concerns, and absent speech for Presley. After using AEA services for her own daughter she fell in love with what they do and found a passion for helping other families navigate the special needs world. With her daughter's extra needs she has had the pleasure of getting to experience many supports and services from the AEAs, and is able to share that unique perspective with other families. She understands what it's like to need to be a parent, therapist, and doctor for your child.

Deb Betz

Deb joined PLAEA in June 2019.  She previously worked at South Central Calhoun as a teacher associate in the fourth grade, and prior to that she was a registrar for Sarasota County Schools in North Port, Florida. She also served on the Clear Lake Community School Board in Iowa for seven years before moving to Florida in 2014. Deb has four adult children and two granddaughters. Her son is now an adult with disabilities and is currently receiving services from the Howard Center in Sac City. She fully understands what it feels like to be a parent of a child with disabilities and has experienced all of the ups and downs that go along with that.


Deb Shelton

Deb has been part of the Family & Educator Partnership since the mid-1990's which  has given her many experiences with all ages, birth to 21. Her focus includes supporting educators and parents as they work together to meet the needs of the child/student. Having an adult son who has a disability gives her a unique perspective in problem-solving with the student's team about concerns, to resolve conflict, and in providing helpful resources and supports.

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