Kelly Blackford joined the Southwest Region in 2022. She currently holds two bachelor’s degrees, one in Social Work and the other in Psychology, and a master’s degree in Education from Pittsburgh State University. Her previous experience includes alternative care case manager for Missouri Children’s Division in Newton and McDonald Counties. For the past five summers, she has worked as a summer camp counselor for Community Support Services (CSS) in Joplin. She is also a Special Olympics coach for bowling, basketball, and track in the southwest area. After spending 14 years as an IEP case manager and teaching high school Special Education Life Skills Classes, she was excited to join the MU Pre-ETS team working with students at 20 different schools in the southwest area. Together with a team of amazing and creative specialists, she is committed to providing students with opportunities to explore career options and resources available to them to further their goals. She believes the best teachers remain students their whole lives. She loves learning, and becoming a specialist guarantees she will never stop doing so.
Kelly serves the following school districts: Carl Junction; Carthage; Diamond; DYS (Joplin); East Newton; Golden City; Jasper; Joplin; Lamar; Liberal; McDonald County; Neosho; Sarcoxie; Seneca; and Webb City.