Staff Picture

Sharon Head

WIDA Inclusion Researcher

Dr. Sharon (Shea) Head is an Inclusion Researcher in the Assessment Department at WIDA. The focus of her work is the design and implementation of studies in support of WIDA’s accessibility research agenda. She also supports the assessment team’s content development projects as subject matter expert in accessibility and universal design.
Prior to coming to WIDA, Shea worked with pre- and in-service teachers at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. She came to higher education after a 15-year career as a special education teacher in New Mexico and Washington State. Shea has expertise in developing reading and writing supports for students with significant disabilities and has extensive experience learning alongside students who have a history of severe trauma. Her broader research interests include learning from teacher narratives about their work with students with significant disabilities and qualitative theory/methodology.
Shea has a PhD and MA in special education from the University of New Mexico and a BA in philosophy and religious studies from McDaniel College (located in her hometown in central Maryland). When not working in support of WIDA’s vital mission, she enjoys an eclectic variety of creative pursuits including storytelling, collage, puppet-making, and singing. Shea resides in Middleton, WI with her spouse Kathy and orange-and-white cat, Gita.