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Morning Keynote


Lee Ann Jung, PhD

Lee Ann Jung, PhD

Lee Ann Jung, PhD, is the Founder of Lead Inclusion, Clinical Professor at San Diego State University, and a consultant to schools worldwide. She provides support to schools in the areas of inclusion, standards-based learning and grading, designing individualized goals and interdisciplinary supports, and measuring progress. Before beginning a career in higher education, she worked in special education for eight years in the roles of teacher and administrator. She is a former full-time professor and director of International Partnerships in the University of Kentucky's College of Education. Lee Ann leads the International Inclusive Leadership Program, a professional learning and graduate program for educators in international schools in partnership with San Diego State University. Lee Ann has authored six books, more than 45 journal articles and book chapters, and has been awarded more than four million dollars in federal funding to support personnel preparation and research. She has served as associate editor for Young Exceptional Children (YEC), section editor for The Routledge Encyclopedia of Education, guest editor and editorial board member of Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, and editorial board member for Journal of Early Intervention. Lee Ann is past chair for the Classroom Assessment special interest group for the American Educational Research Association. She can be reached at jung@leadinclusion.org and ljung@sdsu.edu.

 

Afternoon Keynote


Judy Elliott, PhD

Judy Elliott, Ph.D.

Judy Elliott is the former Chief Academic Officer of the Los Angeles Unified School District where she was responsible for curriculum and instruction from early childhood through adult, professional development, innovation, accountability, assessment, afterschool programs, state and federal programs, health and human services, magnet programs language acquisition for both English and Standard English learners, parent outreach, and intervention programs for all students. Before that she was the Chief of Teaching and Learning in the Portland Oregon Public Schools and prior to that an Assistant Superintendent of Student Support Services in the Long Beach Unified School District in CA. Judy also worked as a Senior Researcher at the National Center on Educational Outcomes at the University of Minnesota. She started her career as a special education classroom teacher and then school psychologist. During this time she was an adjunct Professor at the State University College at Buffalo New York where she taught graduate courses in curriculum and instruction and applied behavior analysis in the Department of Exceptional Education. In 2012, she was appointed by Commissioner John King as the first ever New York State “Distinguished Educator” to help support and oversee the Buffalo City School District Priority Schools. Judy continues to assist districts, cooperatives, schools, national organizations, state and federal departments of education in their efforts to update and realign systems and infrastructures around curriculum, instruction, assessment, data use, leadership and accountability that includes all students and renders a return on investment. Her research interests focus on systems change and leadership, equitable and accessible effective instruction for all students, data based decision making, and accelerated student achievement. She has trained thousands of staff, teachers, and administrators in the U.S. and abroad in areas of integrated service delivery systems, multi-tiered system of supports, effective use of data, linking assessment to district and classroom instruction and intervention, strategies and tactics for effective instruction, curriculum adaptation, collaborative teaching and behavior management. She has published over 51 articles, book chapters, technical/research reports and books. She sits on editorial boards for professional journals and is active in many professional organizations. Judy is nationally known for her work in Multi-Tiered System of Supports/Response to Instruction and Intervention. She has led many successful projects in this area and actively continues to support school districts and national organizations in this work.

 

Breakout Speakers


Somerlee Monaghan, MS

Somerlee Monaghan, MS

Somerlee Monaghan, MS, is a Training and Consultation Specialist at The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities. Ms. Monaghan provides project training and assistance on the Person Centered Approaches in Schools and Transition (PCAST) project, working closely with schools, students, and families. Ms. Monaghan is certified in Person Centered Thinking and Person Centered Facilitation in Schools by the Learning Community for Person Centered Practices. Prior to joining the Boggs Center, Ms. Monaghan worked as a speech and language pathologist for more than 14 years. She is a passionate proponent of the development of critical communication, self-advocacy, and self-determination skills. Ms. Monaghan is certified in the area of augmentative and alternative communication by Stockton University as well as customized employment by the Association of Community Rehabilitation Educators. Ms. Monaghan is a founding member of the Transition Coordinators’ Network of South Jersey, which serves as a community of practice to unite people with disabilities and those who support and care about them. She was the recipient of the 2016 APSE Educator of the Year award. Ms. Monaghan received a Bachelor of Science degree from Stockton University and a Master of Science degree from LaSalle University in the area of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences.

 

 

Dr. Ellen Frede

Dr. Ellen Frede

Dr. Ellen Frede is a developmental psychologist specializing in early childhood education (ECE), and currently serves as Senior Co-Director at the National Institute for Early Education Research. In this role, she applies what she has learned throughout her long and varied career in ECE, starting as a teacher in inclusive classrooms in all levels of ECE, then a curriculum and professional development specialist at the HighScope Foundation, a teacher educator at a state college, researcher, pre-k administrator for the New Jersey Department of Education, education lead in a large Head Start grantee and early learning lead at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. As Assistant to the Commissioner for ECE at the New Jersey Department of Education, she oversaw the implementation of high-quality preschool in more than 150 school districts partnering with over 450 private providers, serving 50,000 children with a budget of over half a billion dollars annually. She applied her extensive and deep experience as a teacher, teacher educator and researcher to develop a comprehensive continuous improvement system for accountability and program improvement. Under her leadership, a broad coalition of educators, advocates and researchers developed program standards which were the basis of data-based decision making at the child, classroom, program and state level. Among these standards was an expectation that children with IEPs would be served, with adequate supports, in the general education classrooms unless it was found that they could not be served effectively there. This effort led to a preschool program that has shown benefits for participants into the fifth grade and is regularly referred to as a model for the nation.

 

 

Amy Hornbeck

Amy Hornbeck

Amy Hornbeck is a Research Project Manager at the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) at Rutgers University whose areas of expertise include child development, curriculum, special education and applied behavioral analysis. Before joining NIEER, Amy was the National Director of Training for Tools of the Mind, a non-profit organization that develops innovative curricula to support young children's self-regulation skills. While at Tools, Amy oversaw the development of professional training experiences for thousands of teachers across the United States, and supported school districts in designing preschool programs for children with special needs. Ms. Hornbeck has published articles and regularly speaks to groups on issues related to early childhood education, play and the development of self-regulation skills. In addition to her academic background, Ms. Hornbeck is also the mother of twin girls, one of whom is on the autism spectrum. These professional and personal experiences combine to inform her personal passion for research and advocacy work related to equity in education for students with special needs or challenging behaviors.

 

 

Adam Weiss, Esq.

Adam Weiss, Esq.

Adam Weiss, Esq. has significant litigation experience on behalf of various entities throughout New Jersey. In particular, Mr. Weiss has represented large and small employers, including businesses, school boards, and municipalities in a wide-range of matters before the United States District Court, Superior Court of New Jersey, New Jersey Office of Administrative Law, New Jersey Public Employment Relations Commission, New Jersey Department of Education School Ethics Commission, United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the United States Department of Education Office of Civil Rights. As a litigator, Mr. Weiss has handled many employment cases, including those involving claims of wrongful termination, discrimination and harassment, civil rights violations, and whistleblowing. Mr. Weiss is a defense litigator and has vast experience working with insurance companies, adjusters, and investigators. Additionally, Mr. Weiss often appears on behalf of and counsels school board clients on various issues pertaining to special education, personnel matters, student rights, and school ethics. Mr. Weiss is a frequent presenter and panelist on school law topics at seminars regarding employment and education law on behalf of organizations and school boards throughout New Jersey. Mr. Weiss currently serves as a member of the New Jersey State Bar Association School Law Special Committee, having been appointed in 2013. Mr. Weiss has also been named a “Rising Star” by New Jersey Super Lawyers for 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. Before entering private practice, Mr. Weiss served as a law clerk to the Honorable Edward J. Ryan, J.S.C. (Ret.) of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Middlesex County in New Brunswick.

 

 

Doug Silvestro

Doug Silvestro

Mr. Silvestro works with the firm’s school board clients on various issues pertaining to special and general education, public contracting and personnel matters. Mr. Silvestro regularly attends board meetings, participates in mediations and appears before the New Jersey Office of Administrative Law on behalf of the firm’s school board clients. Mr. Silvestro has frequently served as a presenter on numerous areas of education law throughout the State and currently serves as a Vice President for the New Jersey Association of School Attorneys. Before entering private practice, Mr. Silvestro served as a law clerk for the State of New Jersey Office of Administrative Law in both the Trenton and Newark branches.

 

 

Amy Howie

Amy Howie

Amy Howie is a Special Education Subject Matter Expert (SME) at Public Consulting Group and Director of Project SUCCESS in Indiana. Amy is dedicated to being an enthusiastic and dynamic leader, fostering a lifelong love of learning. Prior to coming to PCG, Amy was a special education teacher for ten years, and holds experience at elementary and secondary levels, covering a range of disability areas and instructional settings including elementary, secondary and vocational education. For the past six years, Amy was assistant principal in two Indiana districts where she led efforts to improve instruction and increase achievement by developing and supporting: special education programming, Response to Intervention initiatives, and Positive Behavioral Support programs. Additional areas of expertise include use of evidence-based instructional strategies, assessment and data analysis, special programming including Section 504 and English as a New Language (ENL); parent and community involvement; and academic and behavioral interventions, specifically aimed at the secondary level. Amy has a Master’s degree in Educational Administration and Supervision K-12 and a Bachelor’s degree in Special Education.

 

 

Dr. Jennifer Meller

Dr. Jennifer Meller

Dr. Jennifer Meller, an Associate Manager with Public Consulting Group (PCG), leads the firm’s efforts in providing districts with comprehensive education program evaluations and technical assistance in the areas of staffing, stakeholder engagement, compliance, finance, data use, and best instructional practices for students with disabilities. Currently, Dr. Meller focuses on research engagements that support districts and state departments of education with special education compliance and results-driven outcomes. She also assists districts in several states with implementing procedurally compliant-based special education technology systems and has recently administered PCG’s first national survey on the use of IEP systems. For more than 15 years, she has worked extensively with states, districts, schools, and teachers on projects related to special education and education policy. A special education subject matter expert (SME) at PCG, Dr. Meller’s experience is built upon her practitioner-oriented background and education policy work in states across the U.S., including Arizona, California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington. Dr. Meller served as the project manager for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on a data-focused research engagement while at PCG and has managed a variety of projects for school districts that involve community and stakeholder engagement, data management and analysis, and process improvement. Prior to joining PCG, Dr. Meller worked in the School District of Philadelphia as a Special Projects Manager in the Office of Management and Budget, and Director of Operations in the Office of Specialized Instructional Services. In these roles, she focused on building programs that supported student’s social and emotional growth, implemented student-focused data management systems, supervised federal and state reporting, and oversaw several multi-million-dollar federal grants. As part of this work, Dr. Meller led a team that provided technical assistance to more than 250 districts and 70 charter schools in the Philadelphia area and managed over $200 million in local and grant funding. The Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Bureau of Special Education recognized her team’s efforts with a written commendation; the team also received recognition from other urban school districts. Dr. Meller previously served as a business development manager for Dale Carnegie Training, where she was responsible for creating a product line for children and teenagers and taught public speaking and self-improvement courses for all ages. Dr. Meller earned an Ed.D. in Educational and Organizational Leadership and an MS.Ed. in Higher Education Management, both from the University of Pennsylvania. She received a B.A. in English from Dickinson College.

 

 

Matthew Korobkin

Matthew Korobkin

Matthew Korobkin is a Senior Advisor for Special Education Services within Public Consulting Group’s (PCG) Education practice. Based in Princeton, New Jersey, Matthew brings strategic planning expertise at the state and district level in the areas of special education policy, compliance, operations, and instructional practice. At PCG, Matthew supports the firm’s efforts in the special education field, performing special education program reviews, leading statewide special education conferences, facilitating PCG’s content partnerships with professional education associations, and providing guidance and thought-partnership to state and district special education leaders. Prior to joining PCG in 2017, Matthew was the Special Education Officer for Strategic Planning and Evaluation in the Office of the Secretary of Education at the Delaware Department of Education. As an appointee and direct report to the Secretary of Education, Matthew advised a legislated Special Education Oversight Group comprised of the Governor, Co-Chairs of the General Assembly’s Joint Finance Committee, and cabinet secretaries from the Department of Education, Department of Health and Social Services, and the Department of Services for Children, Youth, and their Families. Matthew also facilitated a state-wide special education stakeholder group comprised of local school district leaders, family members of students with disabilities, advocates, and community organization leaders. Led by Matthew and the Secretary of Education, this group subsequently created a legislatively mandated state-wide special education strategic plan. Matthew also has an extensive background in the provision of Assistive Technology products and services at the school district level. He previously worked as an Assistive Technology Specialist at FLLAC Educational Collaborative consulting students, parents, and special education administrators on the integration of Assistive Technology and the student Individualized Education Program (IEP). Prior to this, Matthew was the Special Education Technology Curriculum Manager for an approved private special education school in Massachusetts, where he coordinated all student Assistive Technology/Instructional Technology software, hardware, and curriculum needs for students with complex developmental and behavioral disabilities.

 

 

Sue Gamm, Esq.

Sue Gamm, Esq.

Sue Gamm, Esq., is a special educator and attorney who has spent more than 40 years specializing in the study and understanding of policies, procedures and practices impacting the systemic and effective education of students with disabilities and those with academic and social/emotional challenges. Sue has blended her legal and special education programmatic expertise and unique experience as the Chief Specialized Services Officer for the Chicago Public Schools, Attorney and Division Director for the Office for Civil Rights (U.S. Department of Education) and special educator to become a highly regarded national expert as an author, presenter, consultant, and evaluator of systemwide policies and practices. Based on her extensive experience and knowledge of policies and procedures required for the implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, Sue has written standard operating procedure manuals for special education practices and MTSS for more than 10 school districts. Sue has shared her knowledge of IDEA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and related issues at numerous national, state, and local conferences and has authored/co-authored numerous periodicals and publications, including: Common Core State Standards and Diverse Urban Students; Using Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (Council of the Great City Schools) and Disproportionality in Special Education: Identifying Where and Why Overidentification of Students Occurs (LRP Publications). She also participated in the preparation of U.S. Supreme Court Amicus Curiae briefs for the Council of Great City Schools in Support of Plaintiffs in Board of Education of the City School District of the City of New York v Tom F., On Behalf of Gilbert F., A Minor Child [special education placement] and in Forest Grove School District v TA (2007, 2009). Sue has also been recognized for her legal expertise in the area of special education through her engagement as an expert witness or consultant involving nine special education federal class action cases.

 

 

 

About Public Consulting Group (PCG)

Public Consulting Group, Inc. (PCG) is a leading public sector management consulting and operations improvement firm that partners with health, education, and human services agencies to improve lives. Founded in 1986 and headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, PCG has over 2,000 professionals in more than 50 offices around the US, in Canada and in Europe. PCG’s Education practice offers consulting services and technology solutions that help schools, school districts, and state education agencies/ministries of education to promote student success, improve programs and processes, and optimize financial resources. To learn more, visit http://www.publicconsultinggroup.com/education/.

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