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.

Shonna Gnahn


Region 4

Shonna Gnahn is the Professional Development Facilitator for Region 4.  Before taking on the role of PDF, she taught preschool for 15 years. She now coordinates early childhood programs and services and provides coaching to early childhood staff and administration. Shonna is passionate about helping children and families thrive and grow together by building supportive and active communities that promote the development of children and support families. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from South Dakota State University and lives in Pelican Rapids with my husband and our three daughters.  Her family enjoys camping, hiking and spending time together outdoors and at the lake. Shonna also enjoys doing crafts and reading.