About Us

The Minnesota Centers of Excellence for Young Children with Disabilities is the statewide professional development system for early childhood special education (ECSE). Professional Development Facilitators (PDF) in each of the state's eight economic development regions work to connect, support and empower local leaders to build capacity. Through these joint efforts, young children and their families are accessing and benefiting from high-quality programs and services throughout the state.

In some instances, the boundaries of educational districts do not align with the eight economic development regions' boundaries. In instances when a cooperative or district's boundaries are found in more than one region, the district's PDF and service region are assigned based upon the county in which a program's leader is housed.

Michelle Steele

Region 5


Michelle Steele is an Early Childhood Special Education Professional Development Facilitator for Region 5. Michelle was an ECSE teacher in Southwest Minnesota working in the school districts of RTR Elementary, Lincoln HI, Lake Benton. She provided service to children and families in the birth – two program. Michelle later worked in Marshall, providing services in ECSE center-based preschools, preschool inclusion classes and Kindergarten. Moving into the role of Coordinator of ECSE Services for Alexandria Public Schools and Runestone Area Education District, Michelle provided professional development opportunities to the districts and was an instructional coach in Alexandria. From 2012 – 2017, Michelle worked as an ECSE Data trainer for SpEd Forms, Inc. Throughout her career in ECSE, Michelle has attended ECSE leadership events and participated in local and regional Interagency Early Childhood Intervention Committee (IEIC’s). She is a member of the Minnesota Division of Early Childhood (DEC).

Michelle holds a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education from Minnesota State University, Moorhead, a Master's of Education degree from the University of Minnesota, Duluth in the Cross Disciplinary Study of Young Children and Families and a Special Education Director's license from Minnesota State University, Moorhead.

Michelle lives in the Alexandria area with her husband, two children and their English Springer Spaniel pup. Michelle enjoys spending time with family and friends, scrapbooking/photography and attending sporting events.