2017 Presenters

Check back often, new speakers are added weekly.

Able, Harriet

Associate Professor

School of Education/UNC-Chapel Hill

Harriet Able is a parent and professional in special education.  She is a faculty member in the School of Education at UNC-  Chapel Hill where she directs the masters and doctoral programs in Early Childhood Intervention and Family Support and Applied Developmental Sciences and Special Education.  She is the recipient of numerous professional development grants from the U.S. Department of Education focused on diversity, inclusion, and translational research. 

Confirmed Sessions:

Aguilar , Erin

Inclusion Specialist

Easterseals Blake Foundation

Erin Aguilar is an Inclusion Specialist and Educator for the Easterseals Blake Foundation.  She coordinates the Inspire Inclusion Community of Practice, part of the UWSA/FTF Great Expectations Professional Development Grant promoting and supporting inclusive practices in early childhood programs.  She is passionate about advocating for children with special needs and supporting teachers in creating classrooms that provide the necessary access, participation and support for full inclusion.

Confirmed Sessions:

Aldridge, Will

Advanced Implementation Specialist

FPG Child Development Institute

Will Aldridge, PhD, is an Advanced Implementation Specialist at FPG Child Development Institute, UNC-Chapel Hill and an Implementation Science Strategist at the Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center, Penn State University. He is on the Board of Directors of the National Prevention Science Coalition. Will's work includes intensive technical assistance and evaluation research on the implementation and scale-up of evidence-based prevention strategies in community settings and state and national service systems. He is currently Principal Investigator on the North Carolina Implementation Capacity for Triple P project and provides implementation support for the California Child Welfare Core Practice Model.

Confirmed Sessions:

Bagatell , Nancy

Associate Clinical Professor

Occupational Sciences, Department of Allied Health, UNC

Nancy Bagatell is an associate clinical professor in the Occupational Sciences in the Department of Allied Health at UNC – Chapel Hill.  Dr. Bagatell research focuses on adult and family quality of life related to individuals with developmental disabilities.

Confirmed Sessions:

Barnes, Lorie

Executive Director

NCaeyc

Lorie Barnes is in her thirtieth year in the field of early childhood education.  Her professional experiences include ten years teaching young children in a reverse inclusion setting; completing her M.Ed in Early Intervention and Family Support at UNC Chapel Hill; teaching adults in the Department of Early Childhood at Wake Tech Community College; serving as Director of Education at Marbles Kids Museum; and now celebrating her sixth year as Executive Director of NCaeyc.

Confirmed Sessions:

Briceno, Nicole

Coordinator

Mississippi Early Childhood Inclusion Center

Nicole Briceno, M.S., Coordinator, Mississippi Early Childhood Inclusion Center. Nicole coordinates the special needs credential and develops curriculum used in training and technical assistance. She mentors MECIC staff to promote best practices and disseminates the program’s activities in state and national conferences. Mrs. Briceno is an adjunct professor at The University of Southern Mississippi, Department of Child and Family Studies.

Confirmed Sessions:

Bryans, Amanda

Director Research Analysis and Communication

Office of Early Childhood Development, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Amanda Bryans has worked in the Office of Head Start, Administration for Children and Families, Department of Health and Human Services since 1999.  During that time, she has led efforts to improve the quality and effectiveness of program services through regulations, research, program monitoring and training and technical assistance.  She currently is the Director Research Analysis and Communication, Office of Early Childhood Development, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Amanda has a BS from Cornell University in Human Development and Family Studies and an MS from the State University of New York at Albany in Educational Psychology, Measurement and Statistics.  She has worked for Head Start for 25 years including five years as a Disabilities Services and Education Coordinator, and five years as the Director of the Head Start program in Albany, NY. 

Confirmed Sessions:

Caron, Beth

Program Director Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge Technical Assistance

AEM Corporation

Beth Caron, Ph.D., has 25 years’ experience in early learning and early childhood special education.  She has federal and local program experience, including research, university teaching, and home- and center-based direct service delivery.  Dr. Caron supported programs for young children and their families at the US Department of Education, including OSEP. In her current role at AEM Corp., Dr. Caron directs and manages the Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge Technical Assistance contract.

Confirmed Sessions:

Cate, Deborah

TA Specialist

Early Childhood Technical Assistance (ECTA) Center

Debbie Cate is a technical assistance (TA) specialist with the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute (FPG) at the University of North Carolina (UNC) with the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA) and the IDEA Data Center (IDC).  Her current work supports states in collecting, reporting and using data to inform and improve state systems provision of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, (IDEA) services for young children and their families. 

Confirmed Sessions:

Catlett, Camille

Scientist

FPG Child Development Institute, UNC-Chapel Hill

Camille Catlett is based at the FPG Child Development Institute at UNC-Chapel Hill. Since 2000, Camille’s work has focused on growing the capacity of early childhood and early intervention professionals to support young children who are culturally, linguistically, and individually diverse and their families. She coordinates four national resource listservs (BabyTalk, Faculty Finds, Natural Resources, Resources within Reason), two state listservs, and authors a regular column on implementing evidence-based practices (From Article to Action) in Young Exceptional Children.

Confirmed Sessions:

Cleven , Marva

Director of Special Services

Lyon County School District

Marva Cleven spent the past 12 years as an administrator of special education programs in Nevada.  Currently, she is the Director of Special Services for Lyon County School District, and previously the State Director of Special Education for Nevada.  From 2004-2009, she had the amazing opportunity to be the principal for Cottage School in Churchill County School District which served students ages 3-5.  Prior to becoming an administrator, she taught third through eighth grade students with a variety of special education needs.  Marva’s career in special education has been rewarding and a true blessing. She has a passion for innovation and improving outcomes for our students with disabilities.  

Confirmed Sessions:

Coleman, Mary Ruth

Senior Scientist, Emeritus

FPG Child Development Institute

Mary Ruth Coleman, Ph.D. is a Senior Scientist, Emeritus, at the FPG Child Development Institute, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  She directs Project U-STAR~PLUS (Using Science, Talents and Abilities to Recognize Students – Promoting Learning in Underrepresented Students).  Her projects have included: ACCESS (Achievement in Content and Curriculum for Every Student’s Success, a National Significance Project funded by OSEP and applications of RtI for young children through the Recognition & Response Project sponsored by the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation.  Dr. Coleman has numerous publications including the 14th Edition of the seminal textbook, “Educating Exceptional Children” by Samuel A. Kirk, James J. Gallagher, Mary Ruth Coleman (2015).  She has served three terms on the Board of Directors for the Association for Gifted (TAG), one of which she was President; three terms on the Board of the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC); and two terms on the Board of Directors for the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC).  She was president of the CEC in 2007.

Confirmed Sessions:

Crawford, Gisele

Research Specialist

Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina

Gisele Crawford, M.A.A., is a Research Specialist at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  She has worked on numerous studies of young children’s school environments and experiences.  She is a member of the FirstSchool team, a prekindergarten through third grade initiative dedicated to improving the school experiences and outcomes of typically underserved students.  She has published articles and book chapters related to serving diverse populations of children in early education settings, and is a contributing author of FirstSchool: Transforming PreK-3rd Grade for African-American, Latino, and Low-Income Children and a co-author of the online course The Art of Communication in Classrooms for Young Children.  All of these efforts focus on transforming the culture of school to create genuine relationships and support ongoing reflection and growth for educators, students, and families. 

Confirmed Sessions:

Danaher , Joan

Associate Director

ECTA Center

Joan Danaher is an Associate Director of the ECTA Center. She leads the Web and Products Team, and co-leads the DEC Recommended Practices products team, where her passion is supporting the cohort of fifteen state “aRPy Ambassadors.” She has held leadership positions in national TA projects at FPG for over 30 years, and credits the children and families she served in EI and ECSE as her best teachers.

Confirmed Sessions:

Davis, Corie

Collaboration Coach

Corie Davis has a rich history working across early childhood sectors from child care to Early Head Start, Early Intervention and Family Engagement.  Her current role is that of a collaboration coach with the Wisconsin Early Childhood Collaborating Partners, working to bring together cross sector EC professionals to create comprehensive systems that are fluid and contemporaneous.  A priority of this work is in preserving the early childhood model of play based learning to capitalize on the young child's inherent motivation to learn.  She joins her sister, Kathy, to share a mutual passion for the indomitable spirit of the young child's capacity and the work that serves as the foundation for their success.

Confirmed Sessions:

Davis, Kathy

Early Childhood Specialist in Speech and Language Pathology

Head Start

Kathy Davis is an early childhood specialist in speech and language pathology.   She has worked in model demonstration early intervention and preschool programs, private practice, public school and Head Start settingsShe served in the FPG Child Care Program for 18 years.  Kathy feels herself fortunate to have had access to excellent mentors and to have participated in programs dedicated to improving the lives of young children throughout  her career and brings an expertise born of experience and the passion to seek the best programs possible for young children with disabilities. 

Confirmed Sessions:

de Besche, Johan

Faculty

MGH Institute of Health Professions

Johan de Besche, DPT has worked with children for more than 17 years as a Physical Therapist, manager, director, and care coordinator in schools, clinics, care centers, preschools and in Early Intervention, both in the US and internationally. He is currently faculty in the Interprofessional Collaboration program at the MGH Institute of Health Professions and Project Coordinator for the Let's Participate! model demonstration project in Boston.

Confirmed Sessions:

deFosset, Shelley

Consultant

AEM

Shelley deFosset is part of the State Support Team of the Preschool Development Grants where she supports a Community of Practice of 619 Coordinators from States that have PDG Grants. Her many years’ experience as a technical assistance provider include consultation, with a strong focus on inclusion, to early childhood programs in the US and abroad.  She was co-chair of the National Early Childhood Inclusion Institute from 1999 to 2013.

Confirmed Sessions:

DeGrella, Lanier

Consultant

Lanier DeGrella has worked in the Early Childhood field in various states, Florida, Indiana, and North Carolina for 35 years.  She has owned and operated for-profit and non-profit licensed child care centers, served in state departments for infant-toddler services, and was the North Carolina Statewide Infant Toddler Quality Enhancement Project Manager for Child Care Services Association until her retirement in February 2016.

Confirmed Sessions:

Dell, Penny

Consultant

Early Childhood Technical Assistance (ECTA) Center

Penny Dell is currently a consultant with ECTA supporting the 619 Inclusion Cohort initiative and an adjunct professor at Denver University. She recently retired from the Colorado Dept of Education as the 619 Coordinator. Her experience includes state Child Find Coordinator, Part C Training Coordinator, Head Start Disability consultant, PAT home visitor, Co-Director of a local Part C office, Early Intervention provider, college professor, and preschool special education teacher.

Confirmed Sessions:

Dickson, Tracie

Education Program Specialist

Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education

Tracie's area of interest includes personnel preparation programs that train scholars to serve infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families. She serves on the Early Childhood Team at OSEP and leads several initiatives to support behavioral and developmental screening, inclusion, and Part C/Home Visiting collaboration.  She manages a large portfolio of OSEP training grants that prepare scholars at the master’s and doctoral levels.

Confirmed Sessions:

Dinnebeil, Laurie

Professor of Early Childhood and Special Education

University of Toledo

Dr. Laurie Dinnebeil holds the title of Distinguished University Professor at the University of Toledo and has long been interested in supporting high-quality early childhood inclusion.  Dr. Dinnebeil is widely recognized for her work related to a consultative approach to itinerant ECSE service delivery which focuses on issues related to collaboration and consultation among adults who work with young children with special needs and their families.

Confirmed Sessions:

Dorsey, Emily

Assistant Professor of Practice

Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders, University of Illinois

Emily Dorsey, Ph.D. is an assistant professor of practice in the Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders. She is invested in building the knowledge and skills of pre-service and practicing teachers who work or will work in inclusive early childhood environments. A graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Emily’s research focused on collaborations between public and private early care and education programs, with special emphasis on how collaborative programs could best serve young children with disabilities.

Confirmed Sessions:

Fialka, Janice

Parent, Advocate, LMSW, ACSW

Dance of Partnership

Janice Fialka is a parent, poet, a compelling storyteller, and an award-winning advocate for families and persons with disabilities. She is a nationally-recognized speaker, author, and advocate on issues related to disability, parent-professional partnerships, inclusion, and raising a child with disabilities. Her newest book, What Matters: Reflections on Disability, Community, and Love chronicles her son Micah's journey of living a fully inclusive life. She is also co-author with Arlene Feldman and Karen Mikus of the book: Parents and Professionals Partnering for Children with Disabilities: A Dance that Matters. Janice speaks and writes from her dual perspectives as a seasoned social worker and as a mother of two adult children. Janice and her husband, Rich Feldman, co-produced the award winning DVD, Through the Same Door: Inclusion Includes College.  

Confirmed Sessions:

Fox, Lise

Professor and Co-Director of the Florida Center for Inclusive Communities: A University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities

University of South Florida

Lise Fox, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Department of Child and Family Studies in the College of Behavioral and Community Sciences of the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida.  Lise is a Co-Director of Florida Center for Inclusive Communities (a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities), a faculty member with the OSEP-funded ECTA Center, and an investigator with an IES funded research project examining the implementation of the Pyramid Model within community early care and education programs. She also provides training and technical assistance to early childhood programs through the Pyramid Equity Project. Her research is focused on in practical approaches to addressing issues surrounding the inclusion of young children with problem behavior in community settings, program-wide implementation of the Pyramid Model, and individualized positive behavior support.

Confirmed Sessions:

Fraga, Lynette

Executive Director

Child Care Aware® of America

Lynette Fraga, Executive Director of Child Care Aware® of America, is a passionate practitioner, advocate, and leader in the field of child care and early learning, working to advance the accessibility of quality child care experiences for all children. Dr. Fraga has over 25 years of experience as an educator, program director, and executive leader working on behalf of children and families. 

Confirmed Sessions:

Gallagher, Kathleen

Professor and Community Chair of Early Childhood Education with the Buffett Early Childhood Institute

University of Nebraska

Kathleen (Kate) Gallagher, Ph.D. is a Professor at the University of Nebraska and Community Chair of Early Childhood Education with the Buffett Early Childhood Institute. She has many years’ experience teaching and leading early childhood programs, including early intervention and inclusive preschool programs. Dr. Gallagher’s research and professional development focus on identifying, implementing and evaluating practices and programs that support social-emotional development and well-being of young children, their families, and early childhood professionals.

Confirmed Sessions:

Gallucci , Ruth

619 Coordinator

Early Childhood Special Education at the Rhode Island Department of Education

Ruth Gallucci has served as Rhode Island’s 619 Coordinator for the last 6 years.  She coordinates IDEA special education preschool initiatives relative to child outcomes, early childhood environments, transition from Early Intervention and developmental screening.  Ruth has recently introduced the “Itinerant Early Childhood Special Education” service delivery model and created an infrastructure of supports.  She represents early childhood special education on several state and national committees including the Early Learning Council, the Interagency Coordinating Council and the 619 Consortium.  Ruth has lead multiple Race to the Top: Early Learning Challenge initiatives such as the creation of a comprehensive early childhood special education assessment system, the development of early childhood special educator core competencies and the creation of two separate early childhood special education data systems. 

Confirmed Sessions:

Gansler , Gillian

Vice President

Quality Assist

Gillian Gansler is the mother of Jenna and Vance Kanell. Professionally, Gillian works in the field of early education as the Vice President of Quality Assist, an education consulting company in Atlanta.  Gillian previously worked at the Georgia Association on Young Children, a NAEYC affiliate. Gillian, Jenna and Vance presented a workshop at the 2016 National Inclusion Institute.

Confirmed Sessions:

Garrett , Carla

Education Consultant

Office of Early Learning at the NC Department of Public Instruction

Carla Garrett is an Education Consultant in the Office of Early Learning at the NC Department of Public Instruction.  Her work includes her role as the statewide consultant for Title I Pre-K, as well as leading NC’s Pre-K/Kindergarten Demonstration Program.  Carla has over 24 years of experience in public education.  She worked as a school administrator for fifteen years prior to becoming a state consultant. Carla’s educational background includes a B.S. in Child Development/Psychology from Meredith College and a M.Ed. in Preschool Education from UNC at Greensboro. 

Confirmed Sessions:

Gilormini, Bridget

Director

PACER’s Simon Technology Center and Technology to Improve Kids’ Educational Success (TIKES) Project

Bridget Gilormini, Assistive Technology Specialist, is Director of PACER’s Simon Technology Center and Director of the Technology to Improve Kids’ Educational Success (TIKES) Project a five-year, federally funded project awarded in January 2013. She has an extensive background working with children with communication disorders, and currently provides assistance to families and professionals through a wide variety of community outreach in MInnesota. Her professional interests and specialty areas include early childhood, language, literacy, visual supports, and iOS technology. Bridget has a Master of Science in Teaching – Communication Disorders from the University of Wisconsin, River Falls.

Confirmed Sessions:

Googe, Heather

Research Associate

Yvonne and Schuyler Moore Child Development Research Center

Heather S. Googe, Ph.D. is a Research Associate with the Yvonne and Schuyler Moore Child Development Research Center at the University of South Carolina. She is the Principal Investigator and Program Director for the South Carolina Child Care Inclusion Collaborative and the Principal Investigator for the South Carolina Partnerships for Inclusion project. Her professional interests include professional development to support the inclusion of young children with disabilities in early childhood settings and cross-sector early childhood systems building

Confirmed Sessions:

Grattan, Amy

Master Teacher

Paul V. Sherlock Center on Disabilities

Amy Grattan has worked at the Sherlock Center on Disabilities at Rhode Island College for the last 10 years. She has provided consultation to the RI State Department of Education in the development and implementation of state initiatives including the Itinerant Early Childhood Special Education service delivery model, RI Early Learning and Development Standards professional development and the Comprehensive Early Childhood Preschool Approval System. Amy teaches at Rhode Island College in the Special Education and Early Childhood departments.

Confirmed Sessions:

Green, Evelyn

Project Director

Starnet Region V

Evelyn Polk Green, is the Project Director of Starnet Region V, an ECSE professional development project grant project funded through the state of Illinois. . She is celebrating her 30th year as an early childhood professional, working as a teacher assistant, classroom teacher, resource specialist, coach and administrator.  Evelyn has been actively involved in early childhood professional organizations throughout her career, including Illinois DEC, NBCDI and Chicago Metro AEYC where she served as a board member and conference chair. A graduate of National Louis and Northern Illinois Universities, Evelyn is also active in child and adult mental health advocacy. She served as a member of the Network on Children’s Mental Health Research funded by the MacArthur Foundation and is past board member and National President of both the Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA) and CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders).

Confirmed Sessions:

Grisham-Brown, Jennifer

Professor and faculty director of the Early Childhood Laboratory School

University of Kentucky

Jennifer Grisham-Brown, Ed.D. is a Professor in the Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education program and faculty director of the Early Childhood Laboratory School at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Grisham-Brown is co-author of two books on blended practices in early childhood. Her research interests include authentic assessment, tiered instruction, and inclusion. Dr. Grisham-Brown is co-founder of a children’s home and preschool program in Guatemala City called Hope for Tomorrow.

Confirmed Sessions:

Guillen , Chelsea

Professional Development and Technical Assistance Provider

Illinois’ Early Intervention System

Chelsea Guillen is a member of the DEC Recommended Practices Commission that recently revised the DEC RPs. She is a professional development and technical assistance provider in Illinois’ early intervention system. In her role as an aRPy Ambassador, she is attempting to make sure that professionals working in other programs are also able to utilize effective practices. She is a family member of children who have benefited from early intervention and early childhood special education.

Confirmed Sessions:

Hall, Aron

Director of Services

National Inclusion Project

Aron Hall, Director of Programs, coordinates the National Inclusion Project’s Let’s ALL Play partnership programs and trainings as well as ongoing program development. A graduate of N.C. State University, Aron has had multiple experiences in education and recreational programs. Aron is a member of the Advisory Board for the National Alliance for Accessible Golf.

Confirmed Sessions:

Hartley , Lori

Regional Consultant

North Carolina Early Learning Network

Lori Hartley is a Regional Consultant for the North Carolina Early Learning Network.  The North Carolina Early Learning Network, funded by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (DPI), provides early learning communities with professional development and technical assistance to support preschool children with and without special needs and their families. 

Confirmed Sessions:

Holland, Adam

Investigator

FirstSchool Frank Porter GRaham Child Development Institute

Adam Holland, Ph.D., is currently an Investigator on the FirstSchool PreK-3 Initiative at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute located at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has taught first grade, pre-kindergarten, and three year-olds with special needs but spent most of his teaching career in kindergarten. Dr. Holland’s chief interest is in children’s motivation and engagement. He has presented on these topics across the US and internationally to a variety of audiences ranging from teachers and administrators to other researchers and professors.  In his spare time, Dr. Holland enjoys sleeping and reading all the things

Confirmed Sessions:

Holland, Sarah

Special Assistant

Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning

Sarah Holland is a Special Assistant with the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning, focusing on Family Engagement. She is the mother of two sons, ages 23 and 12. Sarah has been involved in family support and leadership efforts at both the local and statewide levels. She is a past chair of the State Interagency Coordinating Council and serves on the board of the Arc of Pennsylvania. Sarah has been employed by Parent to Parent of Pa, The Special Kids Network, and has worked as an independent consultant.

Confirmed Sessions:

Horen, Neal

Director

Early Childhood Division at Georgetown University’s Center for Child and Human Development

Dr. Neal M. Horen is the Director of Early Childhood at Georgetown’s Center for Child and Human Development.  He is the lead/co-lead on the National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness Mental Health section for Head Start, co-lead on the National Center of Excellence on Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation and a RWJ foundation grant on mental health consultation.

Confirmed Sessions:

James, Vivian

619 Exceptional Children Preschool Coordinator for North Carolina

State of North Carolina

Vivian James is North Carolina’s state coordinator for the Preschool Exceptional Children Programs with funds from Section 619 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.  Vivian works closely with, and helps coordinate services across, all the state agencies that serve young children and their families.  She chairs and serves on inter-sector work groups addressing suspension and expulsion, integrated systems of care, and transition to Kindergarten.

Confirmed Sessions:

Kanell , Jenna

Writer, Director and Producer

Jenna Kanell is a filmmaker, actor and stunt performer.  Jenna directed, wrote and produced the short film Bumblebees, which starred her younger brother Vance, who has special needs.   This romantic comedy won the 2014 Disability Film Challenge, and was accepted into nearly three dozen film festivals around the world, winning 6 awards and 5 honorable mentions.  Jenna has starred in feature and short films, and appeared in television shows.

Confirmed Sessions:

Kanell, Vance

YMCA and a local Parks Department

Vance Kanell is the star of the short film Bumblebees.  Vance has autism, cerebral palsy, epilepsy and five other sensory disorders.  When Vance was young, his parents were told that he would never walk, talk or be able to attend school.  Vance began intensive early intervention therapy at nine months old.  Today, Vance plays baseball and works at two local YMCA’s and a local Parks Department in Georgia.

Confirmed Sessions:

Karp , Naomi

Professional Development

Great Expectations for Teachers, Children, Families, and Communities

Naomi Karp leads “Great Expectations for Teachers, Children, Families, and Communities,” a Communities of Practice grant at United Way of Tucson.  She spent 20 years in the US Department of Education and 12 years as a special education teacher.  Naomi served on the NAEYC Governing Board and was President of the Arizona AEYC.  She received an Honorary Doctorate and the Alumni Achievement Award from the University of AZ. leads “Great Expectations for Teachers, Children, Families, and Communities,” a Communities of Practice grant at United Way of Tucson.  She spent 20 years in the US Department of Education and 12 years as a special education teacher.  Naomi served on the NAEYC Governing Board and was President of the Arizona AEYC.  She received an Honorary Doctorate and the Alumni Achievement Award from the University of AZ.

Confirmed Sessions:

Kavulic, Christy

Associate Division Director, Early Childhood Team

Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education

Christy Kavulic is the Associate Division Director of the Early Childhood Team in the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) in the US Department of Education. In this position, she oversees the development and management of discretionary grants funded under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act that support the professional development of  high-quality early childhood personnel; the implementation of evidence-practices; and effective and efficient early childhood systems at the State and local levels. She also supports collaboration with other Federal partners to ensure that infants, toddlers, and preschool children with disabilities and their families have access to and full participation in high-quality early childhood programs and services. She has a Master’s in speech-language pathology and a doctorate in early childhood special education.

Confirmed Sessions:

Kemp, Peggy

Executive Director

Division of Early Childhood (DEC)

Peggy Kemp, Executive Director of the Division for Early Childhood (DEC), is a recognized leader and tireless advocate devoted to quality services to families of young children with disabilities and the professionals who serve them. She guides DEC’s strategic direction and oversees daily operations. Peggy has experience as a direct service provider as well as a local, state and national leader and her life experiences as a family member of persons with disabilities fuels her passion to support policies that enhance the lives of families.

Confirmed Sessions:

King, Kathryn

Education and Training Specialist

Kids Included Together (KIT)

Kathryn King, MSRA. Kathryn has over 20 years of youth development experience in a variety of settings including preschool, summer camp, after-school, and teen programs. For the past ten years her focus has been providing coaching, training, and technical assistance to out-of-school-time professionals in inclusive programs. Kathryn has a master's of science in recreation administration from the UNC-Chapel Hill.

Confirmed Sessions:

Knopf, Herman

Research Scientist

Anita Zucker Center for Excellence in Early Childhood Studies

Herman T. Knopf, PhD, is a Research Scientist at the Anita Zucker Center for Excellence in Early Childhood Studies at the University of Florida. Through more than a decade of work Dr. Knopf has strengthened systems that 1) Provide professional development to childcare providers, 2) measure and support child and family access to quality childcare services, and 3) coordinate efforts to leverage existing resources to ensure children with and without special needs receive care that supports early development and learning. Dr. Knopf is collaborating with policymakers in South Carolina and Florida to develop a Child Care Access Index, an innovative tool designed to measure the extent to which vulnerable children and families have reasonable access to high quality early education and care.

Confirmed Sessions:

Kozlowski , Jani

Professional Development Coordinator

National Center on Early Childhood Development, Teaching and Learning at Zero to Three

Jani Kozlowski holds an MA in Child Development and has worked in the ECE field for over 25 years.  She currently serves as the Professional Development Coordinator for the National Center on Early Childhood Development, Teaching and Learning at Zero to Three.  Previously, she provided technical assistance and other supports in the areas of EHS – Child Care Partnerships, professional development systems, Smart Start partnerships, Head Start programs, and NC Pre-K.

Confirmed Sessions:

Kremer, Ann

Project Director

Early CHOICES, Illinois State Board of Education

Ann Kremer is the Project Director for Early CHOICES a preschool LRE initiative of the Illinois State Board of Education.  The mission of Early CHOICES is to increase high quality inclusive opportunities for young children. Ann has a masters of education in early childhood education.  She has been working towards inclusive education her entire career as a provider, consultant and as a leader. Ann is committed to this work as a professional and also as a parent of a young man with Down syndrome who experienced inclusive education and continues to be an active participant in his community.

Confirmed Sessions:

Kurzinger , Antoinette

Keystone STARS Expansion Manager

Pennsylvania’s Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL)

Antoinette (Toni) Kurzinger is the Keystone STARS Expansion Manager for Pennsylvania’s Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL). Toni is a Human Development and Family Studies, Pennsylvania State University graduate. Toni began her start in the early childhood field interning at OCDEL. Toni is focusing her efforts on re-visioning Pennsylvania’s Quality Rating and Improvement System-Keystone STARS and growing quality child care in Pennsylvania’s rural counties for the Race to the Top, Early Learning Challenge Grant.

Confirmed Sessions:

LaVergne , Leslie

Coordinator

Pediatric Evaluation and Diagnostic Services Team

Leslie LaVergne is the Coordinator of the Pediatric Evaluation and Diagnostic Services Team and the Inclusion Classroom Profile Assessor. She is Mississippi’s Ambassador to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” Program. Dr. LaVergne provides training to families, early childhood educators and other professionals in regards to developmental monitoring and the importance of early identification of developmental delays.

Confirmed Sessions:

Lazara , Alex

Digital Communications Strategist

ECTA Center

Alex Lazara is a former teacher who now has ten years of national TA experience at FPG as the lead digital communications strategist for the ECTA Center. He specializes in transformation of content for ease of use, high quality accessibility, and respectful facilitation of TA delivery. He is a key team member for the ECTA DEC Recommended Practices products and the creative mind behind aRPy.

Confirmed Sessions:

Lesko, Jim

Director

Early Development and Learning Resources Work Group for the Delaware Department of Education.

Jim J. Lesko, EdD, is the Project Manager for the Preschool Development Grant Technical Assistance (PDG TA) Project with AEM Corp.  Previously Dr. Lesko was the Director for the Early Development and Learning Resources Office with the Delaware Department of Education overseeing a diverse division of early education services for children birth through kindergarten.  Dr. Lesko has 40 years of experience in early education as a state and local school administrator, consultant and technical assistance specialist, and itinerant and classroom-based educator. 

Confirmed Sessions:

Lim, Chih-Ing

Advanced Implementation Specialist

FPG Child Development Institute, UNC-Chapel Hill

Chih-Ing Lim has been in the field of education for over 20 years. She is a key staff member on the National Center on Early Childhood Development, Teaching, and Learning (NCECDTL) funded by the Administration for Children and Families and the Early Childhood Recommended Practice Modules project (RPM) funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). She also continues to coordinate a series of professional development resources on inclusion, CONNECT courses and modules.

Confirmed Sessions:

Locchetta , Brandy

Inclusion Program Manager

Bright from the Start, Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning

Brandy M. Locchetta is the Inclusion Program Manager at Bright from the Start, Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning.  There, she works with a team of 10 Inclusion Specialists to provide coaching and professional development that supports early education professionals to include children with disabilities and persistent challenging behaviors within their programs and classrooms. She has worked in the field of early learning with children from birth to five since 2001 in a variety of roles, including classroom teacher and program administrator. Brandy earned her Bachelor’s degree in B-5 Education from Georgia State University and went on to earn her Master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education from Vanderbilt University.

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Lunn, Sharon

Regional Consultant

Early Intervention Program, NC

Sharon Lunn is a Regional Consultant for the Early Intervention Program in North Carolina. As an aRPy Ambassador she is helping to build state capacity to implement the DEC Recommended Practices by early intervention, early childhood special education and early childhood providers, and families. Through her roles as a Program Consultant and TA Provider, she promotes and leverages cross-sector alliances for reciprocal training and professional development opportunities.

Confirmed Sessions:

Luther, Anna

Education and Training Specialist

Kids Included Together (KIT)

Anna Luther, MSW. began working with young adults with developmental disabilities in 2002. This was the start of a now long–felt passion for providing community support designed to enhance individual dignity and inclusiveness. Since earning a MSW from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2006, Anna has provided training, consultation and TA related to inclusion to child care, after school and recreation providers worldwide.

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McCullough, Katy

TA Specialist

Early Childhood Technical Assistance (ECTA) Center and the Center for IDEA Early Childhood Data Systems (DaSy)

Katy McCullough is a Technical Assistance Specialist at the ECTA and DaSy centers. She provides technical assistance to Early Intervention/Part C and Preschool Special Education/619 Coordinators in states supporting system change in topics such as early intervention services, finance, and early childhood inclusion. She has provided TA on state implementation of DEC Recommended Practices and is on the content development team for the Recommended Practices (RP) Modules.

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McInerney , Bill

Professor Emeritus of Early Childhood Special Education

Iniversity of Toledo

Dr. William McInerney is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Toledo and has a distinguished career committed to meeting the needs of young children with disabilities in inclusive settings.  He shares Dr. Dinnebeil’s commitment to a consultative approach to itinerant ECSE service delivery and strongly advocates for helping general early childhood educators learn how to effectively meet the needs of young children with disabilities and their families.

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McLean, Mary

Professor

University of Florida

Mary McLean is a Professor in the School of Special Education, School Psychology, and Early Childhood Studies in the College of Education at the University of Florida and is affiliated with the Anita Zucker Center for Excellence in Early Childhood Studies. She is working with the DR access Project in California on the development of the DRDP early childhood assessment instrument with an emphasis on its use with children with IFSPs or IEPs.  At the University of Florida, Dr. McLean currently is Co-PI on a research grant funded by the Institute of Education Sciences which is investigating the impact of professional development on preschool teachers’ use of embedded instruction practices.  She is also currently working in California on a pilot study of embedded instruction with early childhood programs in Los Angeles, Santa Clara and Fresno.   She has been active in the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), has served as President of DEC and currently serves as Chair of the DEC Recommended Practices Commission.

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McWilliam, Robin

Special Education Department head and Professor

University of Alabama

Robin McWilliam developed the Routines-Based Model for Early Intervention 0-5, used in various countries and U.S. states. He is the Special Education department head and a professor at The University of Alabama, and has previously been at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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Milbourne, Suzanne

Director

Delaware Early Childhood Assistive Technology Demonstration (DECATD)

Suzanne Milbourne, founder of “fabricATe” - a maker movement approach to acquiring assistive technology devices and tools for young children with disabilities. Dr. Milbourne is the Director for the Delaware Early Childhood Assistive Technology Demonstration (DECATD) five-year, federally funded project awarded in January 2013 to the University of Delaware, Center for Disabilities Studies.  She previously served as the project coordinator for the federally funded Tots N’ Tech Research Institute an inter-university collaboration with a mission to provide up-to-date information and resources about adaptations, including assistive technology, to use with infants and toddlers for states, early intervention providers of all disciplines, and families across the country. Dr. Milbourne is the co-author of the highly regarded CARA’s Kit for Preschoolers (2007), its companion 2012 Toddler version and the TAM Technology Fan for Young Children (2006).

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Mistrett, Susan

Senior Consultant

Let’s Participate! Project

Susan Mistrett, a national authority on children birth to eight with disabilities, is currently a senior consultant to the  federal Let’s Participate! Project, which assists young children with disabilities to engage more independently in everyday activities in order to develop and learn. Ms. Mistrett was principle investigator of the Let’s Play! Projects that assisted families and service providers in using assistive technology to promote successful play experiences and established psychometric properties of an instrument to identify universal design features of toys. She is primary author of several websites, products, comprehensive training curricula and articles that weave concepts of universal design with individual assistive technology supports for children in Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education to ensure the inclusion of all children in the daily activities of natural settings. 

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Mitchell, Marica

Deputy Executive Director for Early Learning Systems

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)

Marica Mitchell, Deputy Executive Director for Early Learning Systems,  National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), is responsible for NAEYC's major efforts in accreditation and professional recognition. As Deputy Executive Director, her portfolio includes public policy and advocacy, accreditation of early learning programs, higher education accreditation and the new Power to the Profession initiative. Marica has over 18 years of diverse experiences in both early childhood classroom and administrative settings. These varied experiences and perspectives inspire her to focus on advancing professional practice, voice and recognition. Before assuming her current role, she served in other leadership positions at NAEYC, the District of Columbia’s Office of the State Superintendent of Education, and the District of Columbia Public Schools.

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Mullaney , Stephen

Design and Consultation

Stephen Mullaney has worked in education for over 20 years.  His work includes designing innovative education programs for public, charter and private schools that are creative and successful.  Stephen's philosophy is to focus on the development of positive working and learning environments.  His approach has  also helped companies and organizations define their missions through group and self reflections.  Stephen brings his long educational background and understanding of human nature to bring positive change to any organization, whether it is an education institution or a private company. He has taught ESL, EC, Reading Recovery, Classroom, Self Contained, AIG in traditional (schools/classrooms) and nontraditional (wilderness, global) locations.  He loves to teach and to be challenged to teach his best.

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Murray, Desiree

Clinical Psychologist and Scientist

Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute

Desiree W. Murray, Ph.D, is a licensed Clinical Psychologist and Senior Research Scientist at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at UNC Chapel Hill. She has over 20 years of experience working with children with challenging behaviors including ADHD in a range of school and clinical settings.  Dr. Murray conducts research to develop and evaluate school-based self-regulation interventions with funding from the Institute of Educational Sciences. Recently she completed a series of white papers on Self-Regulation and Toxic Stress for the Administration for Children and Families which presented an applied contextual model of self-regulation development and reviewed the literature on self-regulation interventions with implications for programs and practice.  Dr. Murray is also a trainer for the Incredible Years Teacher Classroom Management program for early childhood educators, and provides consultation to organizations delivering this program. 

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Neitzel, Jen

Research Scientist

FPG Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina

Jen Neitzel,  Ph.D. is a Research Scientist at the FPG Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has worked in the field of early childhood education for over 20 years and has written articles and presented at conferences focused on learning environments for young children, particularly related to providing inclusive services for young children. Dr. Neitzel also has written articles, co-authored book chapters, developed online training modules, and presented at conferences on topics related to early intervention, high-quality early learning environments, inclusive learning environments, and autism. Currently, Dr. Neitzel is Co-Principal Investigator on an IES-funded grant examining the psychometric properties of the recently published ECERS-3, and works with the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA).

Confirmed Sessions:

Page, Jessica

Research Assistant and student

UNC-Chapel Hill

Jessica Page, M.Ed, is a 4th year PhD student and a research assistant at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Jessica has ten years of experience as an early childhood professional in inclusive programs. Her research and professional interests focus on screening and diagnostic practices in infants at-risk for an autism spectrum disorder and the examination of biomarkers in infants at-risk for autism.

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Palsha, Sharon

Clinical Associate Professor

School of Education, UNC-Chapel Hill

Sharon Palsha has been studying the Reggio Emilia approach since 1994 when she gave her first presentation on the topic at the Division of Early Childhood Annual International Conference. Sharon’s special focus of research is Reggio Emilia’s approach to children with “special rights”.  Sharon’s initial research on this topic was highlighted in the 1997 edition of The Hundred Languages of Children: The Reggio Emilia Approach to Early Childhood Education in the chapter “Children with "Special Rights" in the Schools and Centers of Reggio Emilia.”  Additionally, Dr. Palsha has a chapter, An outstanding education for ALL children: Learning from Reggio’s approach to inclusion in the book Teaching and Learning: Collaborative Exploration of the Reggio Emilia Approach. Sharon is currently on the NC Wonder of Learning committee that has brought a third edition of the The Hundred Languages of Children exhibit to Durham, NC. Dr. Palsha has 38 years experience working with children and families. Currently she is a Clinical Associate Professor at UNC-CH where she has worked for 13 years preparing undergraduate students as early childhood educators who will teach young children, ages birth to 5.

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Parikshak , Sangeeta

Social Science Analyst

Office of Early Childhood Development in the Administration for Children and Families

Sangeeta Parikshak is a Social Science Analyst in the Office of Early Childhood Development in the Administration for Children and Families which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She serves as the lead for mental health and disability services for the Office of Head Start.  She holds a doctorate in Clinical Child Psychology from the University of Kansas, completed her clinical internship at Children’s Hospital Boston/Harvard Medical School, and was a postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

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Peters, Mary

TA Specialist

Early Childhood Technical Assistance (ECTA) Center

Mary Louise Peters has coordinated Wisconsin’s professional development and early learning standards since 2014. In addition, she has been a technical assistance specialist with the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA, formerly NECTAC) since 2010.  With over 35 years’ experience in early education, Mary’s work at national, state and local levels has been focused on collaborative system building, interagency coordination, funding and grant management, professional development, program guidance, and inclusion.

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Plaisance, Michelle

Assistant Professor

University of North Carolina-Charlotte

Michelle Plaisance is an assistant professor of TESOL and English at Greensboro College in Greensboro, North Carolina. She works with aspiring educators of non-native English speakers in a wide variety of contexts. Her research interests include equitable access to the core curriculum for early English learners in monolingual classrooms and teachers’ perceptions of ability and grouping.

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Resua, Kimberly

Doctoral Student

Department of Special Education and Multiple Abilities at The University of Alabama

Kimberly Resua is currently a doctoral student in the Department of Special Education and Multiple Abilities at The University of Alabama. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education from the University of Virginia, and she completed a post-graduate fellowship in Child Development and Early Childhood Education at Yale University. Prior to pursuing her doctoral degree, Kimberly worked within the Research Department at Marcus Autism Center in Atlanta, Georgia, coaching early intervention providers and families of young children with and at risk for autism spectrum disorder.

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Rohde , Steve

Deputy Director for Resource and Referral Services

Maryland Family Network

Steve Rohde is the Deputy Director for Resource and Referral Services for the Maryland Family Network (a merger of Maryland Committee for Children and Friends of the Family) and the Maryland Child Care Resource Network.  Steve has been a preschool classroom teacher, a child care center director, a child care specialist with municipal and county licensing programs, a trainer, a county and state administrator for licensing, and an Acting Executive Director for a major Maryland nonprofit.  Steve has been working with Center of Technology Education (CTE) at John’s Hopkins University (JHU) training their staff on an assessment for the research project CTE/JHU is conducting of the Maryland EXCELS Program.  Steve is also the President of the Child Care Aware of America Board of Directors.  Steve has Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Early Childhood Education from Towson University.  Steve has been adjunct faculty with Stevenson University for five years.  Steve is the proud father of two grown daughters and grandfather to three terrific granddaughters.

Confirmed Sessions:

Rooney, Robin

Director

North Carolina Early Learning Network

Robin Rooney directs the North Carolina Early Learning Network, a statewide training and technical assistance system for preschool programs across the state.  The Network’s statewide initiatives include effective use of early learning standards, formative assessment, and instructional strategies for children’s social-emotional development.

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Rosanbalm, Katie

Duke University

Katie Rosanbalm, Ph.D., is a Research Scholar with the Center for Child and Family Policy at Duke University. Trained as a child clinical psychologist, Rosanbalm’s work focuses on program implementation and evaluation in the areas of child maltreatment prevention, early childhood systems, self-regulation development, and trauma-informed practices. Rosanbalm is currently leading two projects to enhance long-term outcomes for children with trauma histories: One evaluates a self-regulation classroom intervention for low-income preschoolers, and the second examines a systems-level intervention for child-welfare involved youth.  She has co-authored a series of white papers on Self-Regulation and Toxic Stress, including an applied developmental model and a review of self-regulation interventions across the developmental spectrum. Finally, Rosanbalm is co-chairing a state-level committee to promote trauma-sensitive school programs and policies in North Carolina.

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Rush, Dathan

Associate Director

Family, Infant and Preschool Program (FIPP)

Dathan Rush is the Associate Director of the Family, Infant and Preschool Program (FIPP). Dr. Rush has published articles and provided training in the areas of coaching, supporting children and families in natural learning environments, and teaming in early intervention. Dr. Rush coauthored the texts Coaching Families and Colleagues in Early Childhood Intervention, The Early Childhood Coaching Handbook, and The Early Intervention Teaming Handbook: The Primary Service Provider Approach.

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Sam, Ann

Investigator

FPG Child Development Institute, UNC-Chapel Hill

Dr. Ann Sam is an Investigator at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at UNC-Chapel Hill. Dr. Sam’s current work involves projects with the National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorder including developing online, self-paced learning modules for the identified 27 evidence-based practices for children and youth with ASD.

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Sease, Mary

NC Demonstration Program Kindergarten Teacher

Hazelwood Elementary

Marylee Sease is a NC Demonstration Program Kindergarten Teacher at Hazelwood Elementary in Waynesville, NC.  She was selected as a Demonstration Teacher in 2010 as phase two of her work with the Power of Kindergarten three year statewide initiative.  She has served in many teacher leader roles in her 29-year career in education and has had the opportunity to share her experiences as a presenter at state and national conferences. Marylee's educational background includes B.A. and M.A.Ed degrees in Elementary Education from Western Carolina University.

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Shelden, M'Lisa

Director

Family, Infant and Preschool Program (FIPP)

M’Lisa Shelden is the Director of the Family, Infant and Preschool Program (FIPP). Dr. Shelden has coauthored several articles related to early intervention teamwork and book chapters related to physical therapy, personnel preparation and service delivery. She has coauthored several texts, including Physical Therapy under IDEA, as well as Coaching Families and Colleagues in Early Childhood Intervention, The Early Childhood Coaching Handbook, and The Early Intervention Teaming Handbook: The Primary Service Provider Approach.

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Sockwell, Janet

Regional Consultant

North Carolina Early Learning Network

Janet Sockwell is a Regional Consultant for the North Carolina Early Learning Network.  The North Carolina Early Learning Network, funded by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (DPI), provides early learning communities with professional development and technical assistance to support preschool children with and without special needs and their families. 

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Surbrook , Nancy

Training and Technical Assistance Manager

Part C Comprehensive System of Personnel Development and the Part B 619 Personnel Development system in Michigan

Nancy Surbrook is the Training and Technical Assistance Manager for the Part C Comprehensive System of Personnel Development and the Part B 619 Personnel Development system in Michigan. She has expertise in innovative approaches to conduct training. She is also a leader in Michigan's Part C State System Improvement Plan.  She is the designated ECTA Center aRPy Ambassador for Michigan.

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Svoboda , Cindi

Parent, Advocate

Cindi c, parent and advocate. Even though “Autism” isn’t the journey I had planned for my life, it is one I would not change. I have learned so much about patience, acceptance, and so much more from my wonderful son. I am honored to be his mom. He teaches me” life lessons” every day. . Living with someone with Autism is indeed a journey because it is ever changing.  We have an amazing story to share.

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Svoboda , DJ

Artist

D.J. Svoboda was diagnosed at the age of 3 with Autism Spectrum Disorder with psychomotor retardation which included speech delays and issues with his fine motor skills. He found it diffi­cult to even hold a pencil. Today, D.J. is a dynamic, motivational public speaker, accomplished artist and author with three books to his credit; My Imagiville, The Mupperezmo and the Rainbow, and The Inspirations of Imagiville.

Growing up, D.J. was teased and bullied. These negative experiences inspired D.J. to create the land of Imagiville; a safe place in his imagination where everyone is treated kindly and accepted just the way they are. Through his art, and public speaking he brings Imagiville and the Imagifriends to life and uses them as a vehicle to spread a message of hope, inspiration and awareness that those with autism and special needs are special just the way they are.

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Swett, Judy

Early Childhood Coordinator

Parent Information and Resource Project, PACER Center

Judy Swett is the Early Childhood Coordinator at PACER Center in MN.  She provides individual assistance to parents of young children and designs and presents trainings regarding early intervention and early childhood special education services. She is a technical assistance associate at the Early Childhood Technical Assistance (ECTA) Center, is the current chair of the Governor’s Interagency Coordinating Council on Early Childhood Intervention (ICC) and serves on the board for the Minnesota CEC/DEC. She is the parent of a daughter with a disability.

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Thompson, Verna

Technical Assistant for the Inclusion Cohort

ECTA Center

Verna Thompson is a Technical Assistant for the Inclusion Cohort project at the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA). Verna is a retired Part B 619 state coordinator in Delaware and  is a former 619 National Chair. Verna has a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood and an advanced certificate in Special Education from Widener University in Pennsylvania.  

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Turnbull, Ann

Professor, Researcher, and Advocate

Dr. Ann Turnbull has been a professor, researcher, and advocate for individuals with disabilities and their families for four and a half decades. She has authored 32 books and over 250 articles and chapters. In 1999, she was selected by the National Historic Preservation Trust in Developmental Disabilities as one of 36 individuals who  “changed the course of history for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the 20th Century.”

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Vinh, Megan

Associate Director

Early Childhood Technical Assistance (ECTA)

Megan Vinh, Ph.D. is an Associate Director at the Early Childhood Technical Assistance (ECTA), the co-PI of the Early Childhood Recommended Practice Modules project (RPM), and the evaluation lead for the Center for IDEA Early Childhood Data Systems (DaSy). In her roles, she provides technical assistance, leadership, and evaluation support around improving state early intervention and early childhood special education service systems, increasing the implementation of effective practices, and enhancing outcomes of these programs for young children and their families.

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Walsh, Sharon

Consultant

Private Consultant

Sharon Walsh currently provides consultation to state and local agencies on the implementation of Part C and Part B of IDEA  She works as a consultant on the federally funded Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA) and the Center for IDEA Early Childhood Data Systems (DaSy).  Sharon also serves as the Governmental Relations Consultant for the Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children (DEC) and the IDEA Infant and Toddler Coordinators Association (ITCA), which is the national association representing the state Part C lead agencies. 

Confirmed Sessions:

West, Tracey

Investigator

FPG Child Development Institute, UNC-Chapel Hill

Tracey West is an Investigator at FPG Child Development Institute. She is PI on Supporting Change in Preservice Teaching in North Carolina (SCRIPT-NC), a project working with community college faculty in NC to revise their early childhood programs, and Project Coordinator of the National Professional Development Center on Inclusion (NPDCI).

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Westbrook, Alicia

Director

Mississippi Early Childhood Inclusion Center

Alicia Westbrook, Ph.D., Director, Mississippi Early Childhood Inclusion Center. Alicia directs the MECIC by ensuring the vision of the program and securing funding. She serves as a member of the PEDS team, LEND faculty, and leads the research efforts of the program. Dr. Westbrook disseminates the program’s activities in national conferences and publications. Dr. Westbrook is an adjunct professor at The University of Southern Mississippi, College of Education and Psychology.

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Whaley, Kathy

Technical Assistance Specialist

Early Childhood Technical Assistance (ECTA) Center and the Center for IDEA Early Childhood Data Systems (DaSy)

Kathy Thompson Whaley is a Technical Assistance Specialist for the ECTA and DaSy Centers and supports state Part C and Section 619 Coordinators in implementing the IDEA, She co-facilitates a national IDEA early childhood community of practice for Part C and 619 Coordinators and co-coordinates the ECTA Inclusion Team.  She was one of the coordinators of the Expanding Opportunities Interagency Inclusion Initiative from 2005 -2012 which provided extensive support to cross-sector state-level interagency teams.

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White, Tamira

Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor and Doctoral Student in Applied Developmental Sciences and Special Education

University of North Carolina, Chapel HIll

Tamira White is a vocational rehabilitation counselor and doctoral student in Applied Developmental Sciences and Special Education at UNC-Chapel Hill.  Her research and advocacy efforts focus on family and youth empowerment for achieving quality inclusive services in post-secondary employment and education services.

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Whiteman, Jodi

Director

Professional Development for ZERO TO THREE

Jodi Whiteman, M.Ed., CEIM is the Director of Professional Development for ZERO TO THREE where she is responsible for advancing ZERO TO THREE’s capacity to offer high quality professional development to the early childhood field. Jodi’s past experiences as adjunct faculty at the Graduate School of Education at George Mason University, a bi-lingual speech/language therapist assistant, an infant/toddler child care director, an early intervention specialist, and a certified educator of infant massage informs her work and passion for supporting young children and families.

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Winton, Pam

Senior Scientist and Director of Outreach

FPG Child Development Institute, UNC-Chapel Hill

Pam Winton, a Senior Scientist and the Director of Outreach at FPG Child Development Institute, has been involved in research, outreach, professional development, and scholarly publishing related to early childhood for the last three decades. Currently, she is the director and PI of CONNECT, a national center focused on bringing an evidence-based practice approach to professional development in key early childhood content.

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