Dr. Derek Ihori is the Executive Director of Special Education and Psychological Services for the La Cañada Unified School District, where he oversees the district's special education, Section 504, and home hospital programs.
Prior to coming to LCUSD, Dr. Ihori was the Director of Pupil Services for the Las Virgenes Unified School District, where he was responsible for the district's special education, Section 504, home hospital, and health/nursing departments. He also oversaw these areas when he served as a program specialist in the Oak Park Unified School District prior to becoming a director with the Las Virgenes Unified School District. Earlier in his career, Dr. Ihori served as a school psychologist, primarily in the Los Alamitos Unified School District. As a school psychologist, he conducted psychoeducational and behavioral assessments, developed behavior intervention plans, provided counseling, led social skills groups for students with autism, and instituted a tiered academic/behavioral intervention program at three school sites.
Dr. Ihori is a national speaker and has co-authored five books addressing topics such as executive functioning interventions, leadership in the field of special education, and how to develop legally compliant IEPs that effectively address students' needs. In addition, Dr. Ihori co-authored a review of research regarding methods of assessment for specific learning disabilities that was published in Contemporary School Psychology, a peer-reviewed research journal. Several of his other articles have been published by the California Association of School Psychologists. In addition, Dr. Ihori was contracted for two years to author a monthly county-wide newsletter for the Ventura County SELPA focusing on best practices in special education.
Dr. Ihori earned his B.A. in Psychology and Social Behavior from the University of California, Irvine (UCI), his M.S. in Counseling with a specialization in School Psychology from California State University, Northridge (CSUN), and his Ed.D. in Educational Leadership with a concentration in Educational Psychology from the University of Southern California (USC).