Diane S. Basset
Diane S. Bassett is a Professor of Special Education at the University
of Northern Colorado. She has taught general and special education
in elementary, secondary, and postsecondary institutions, and
in both public and private schools. Her primary interests include
working on behalf of adolescents and adults with disabilities
in the areas of transition, self-determination, advocacy, and
educational reform. She consults with local school districts and
State Departments of Education and is Past President of the Division
on Career Development and Transition, of the Council for Exceptional
Mason M. Bishop
Mason Bishop is a Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Employment
and Training Administration, United States Department of Labor.
In his position, Mr. Bishop is responsible for overseeing key
workforce investment programs, developing and implementing workforce
policies and priorities, and assisting with congressional relations
and legislative issues. He also plays a lead role in the reauthorization
of the Workforce Investment Act. Prior to coming to the Employment
and Training Administration, Mr. Bishop was the Legislative and
Marketing Director for the National Association of State Workforce
Agencies, where he helped the states with outreach efforts to
employers and the public and managed various projects on behalf
of the states.
Mr. Bishop came to Washington from Utah where he was Public Affairs
Director for the newly created Utah Department of Workforce Services,
a combined agency that integrated the service delivery of all
public assistance programs, employment services and job training
programs into one department. He assisted the Governor on the
legislation that created the Department, as well as the implementation
of welfare reform in Utah.
Mr. Bishop graduated from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor
of Arts Degree in Political Science and a Masters Degree in Public
Administration. He is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Public
Policy at George Mason University.
Martha Brooks, Ed.D. is currently Director of the Exceptional
Children and Early Childhood Education at the Delaware Department
of Education. Dr. Brooks has a Doctorate in Special Education
and Human Services Administration from Temple University, a Masters
Degree in Counseling from Pacific Lutheran University, and an
undergraduate degree in Elementary Education from Simmons College.
She has over thirty years of experience in regular and special
education as a teacher and administrator. She is also the parent
of three sons, one of whom has severe disabilities.
Dr. Brooks is dedicated to the promotion of collaborative efforts
to improve results for children with disabilities and their families.
She is a Past President of the National Association of State Directors
of Special Education and has worked with the Office of Special
Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education on a number of
issues related to the implementation of the IDEA.
Donna was employed by Camden County Welfare as a Social Worker
and Counselor for several years before coming on board with DVRS.
In her position as a Counselor, she became actively involved with
DVR and developed an interest in working with persons with disabilities.
Since that time, she has worked as a Vocational Rehabilitation
Counselor, acting Supervisor in the local office, and has been
involved in Program Planning since last year, in the administrative
Central Office-Trenton. Her major area of responsibility is in
Transition Services. Her hometown is Camden, New Jersey and she
has a B.A. in Sociology from Spelman College, Atlanta, GA and
an M.S. in Vocational Rehabilitation and Counseling from University
of Medicine and Dentistry, School of Health Related Professions.
Dr. Sheryl Burgstahler directs project DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities,
Internetworking and Technology) at the University of Washington.
DO-IT promotes the success of students with disabilities in postsecondary
programs and careers. DO-IT employs technology to help young people
with disabilities achieve success in postsecondary education and
careers. It sponsors programs that increase the use of assistive
technology and promote the development of accessible facilities,
computer labs, electronic resources in libraries, Web pages, educational
multi-media, and Internet based distance learning programs. DO-IT
has been the recipient of many awards, including the National
Information Infrastructure Award in Education, The President's
Award for Mentoring, the Golden Apple Award in Education, and
the AHEAD Program Recognition award. DO-IT is funded by the National
Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S.
Department of Labor, the State of Washington, corporations, foundations,
and private donors.
Dr. Burgstahler has published dozens of articles and delivered
presentations at national and international conferences that focus
on the full inclusion of individuals with disabilities in postsecondary
education, distance learning, work-based learning, and electronic
communities. She is the author or co-author of six books on using
the Internet with pre-college students. Dr. Burgstahler has extensive
experience teaching at the pre-college, community college, and
university levels. She is Assistant Director of Information Systems
and Affiliate Associate Professor in Education at the University
Ryant Cain has been a member of the Westside Youth Opportunity
Community Center since February 2002. Ryant uses a wheelchair
to ambulate. He reports that his disability resulted from a car
accident. Ryant reports that he wasn't truly "rehabilitated" following
his accident. By his own admittance, he found himself in the wrong
places at the wrong times, which lead to him hanging with the
wrong crowds and doing the wrong things. He was incarcerated for
thirteen months. Upon his release, Ryant was ready to get his
life together. Ryant heard about Youth Opportunity, met the required
criteria and decided to give it a try. He currently attends Baltimore
City Community College and plans to continue with his postsecondary
education upon his completion there.
When asked what YO! had done for him, he replied, "they helped
me get enrolled in college, helped me get a computer, gave me
a chance to go on trips out of state and just had stuff for us
to do so we could stay busy and keep out of trouble. You know,
if you keep busy, you can stay away from the options within the
environment. Going to school and YO!'s extra-curricular activities
kept me out of trouble and I soon will be graduating, then going
to another school and I know YO! will be there for me again."
He offers encouragement to other youth who made be in similar
situations, "they need to realize that they're young and don't
have nothing and they don't want to be older and still have nothingÄnot
being productive or positive or being able to provide for their
family if they have one. I'd tell them how YO! has impacted my
life and helped me get more focused. I'd tell them they could
have the same thing." Ryant would "definitely" recommend YO! to
Joanne Cashman is the Director of The Policymaker Partnership
(PMP) for Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities
Education Act (IDEA). The Partnership is funded by the Office
of Special Education Programs and operates within the National
Association of State Directors of Special Education. Before joining
the PMP, Joanne directed the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program
at The George Washington University. She continues to teach courses
in Special Education Policy and Interagency Service Coordination.
Prior to coming to George Washington University, Joanne was concurrently
the Principal of the Oaklyn Elementary School and Supervisor of
Special Education and Drop Out Prevention for the Shikellamy School
District in Sunbury, Pennsylvania. Her expertise includes: Shared
Policy Agendas and Crosscutting Policy Strategies; Implementation
of the School-to-Career Movement; Service Learning and Self-Determination;
Self-Advocacy for Individuals with Disabilities; and Developing
Communities of Practice.
Brian Cobb is a Professor in the School of Education at Colorado
State University and Co-Director of the Research and Development
Center for the Advancement of Student Learning, a community research
collaborative between Colorado State University and the local
school district located in Ft. Collins, Colorado. He is Principal
Investigator of an OSEP-funded, evidence-based research synthesis
grant entitled What Works in Transition. He also works in various
capacities on a variety of OSEP, National Science Foundation,
National Institutes of Health, and foundation-funded research,
assessment, program evaluation, and meta-evaluation grants across
the K-16 educational spectrum.
Megan A. Conway
Megan A. Conway, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor with the Center
on Disability Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and
coordinates the postoutcomes network of the National Center on
Secondary Education and Transition. Dr. Conway has presented at
numerous national and international conferences and workshops
in the areas of postsecondary education, technology, and sensory
impairment. She has served as a consultant on several state and
international projects in the area of severe disability, and has
authored papers on postsecondary supports for individuals with
disabilities, disability culture, the implications of acquired
disability, and the application of technology for individuals
with disabilities. Dr. Conway received her Doctorate in Special
Education at the University of California, Berkeley.
Mark R. Donovan
Mark R. Donovan, vice chairman of the Marriott Foundation for
People with Disabilities, served as its executive director from
1989, the year of its launch, through 2000. As vice chairman,
he continues to serve the foundation in an advisory role, participates
in a number of related boards around the country, and is a recognized
advocate for issues and opportunities surrounding the employment
of people with disabilities. Under Mr. Donovan's direction, the
Marriott Foundation for People with Disabilities in 1990 established
"Bridges...from school to work," which develops and facilitates
employment opportunities for young people with disabilities as
they leave high school. Today, the foundation operates Bridges
programs in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco,
and the Washington, D.C. area and has, in its fourteen years,
placed more than 6,000 youth in paid employment with over 1,400
employers. Before joining the Marriott Foundation, Mr. Donovan
filled several regional and national human resource positions
for Saga Corporation and Marriott International, with responsibilities
including management training and development, organization development,
and initiatives to outreach to, and recruit from, non-traditional
applicant pools. Those roles were preceded by ten years in management,
directing comprehensive food and beverage operations on multiple
college and university campuses. Mr. Donovan is a 1972 graduate
of Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana.
Kelli Crane is a Senior Policy Analyst at TransCen, Inc. and is
responsible for managing their participation in the National Center
on Secondary Education and Transition for Youth with Disabilities.
In this capacity, Dr. Crane coordinates the research, development
and implementation of postschool improvement activities to states
including resource mapping, partnership development, and the systems
alignment. She has been extensively involved in creating and expanding
secondary education and workforce development systems. Her area
of expertise includes research, outreach, and the design of activities
to improve secondary education and transition programs for youth
with disabilities. Before joining TransCen’s staff, Dr.
Crane worked for the National School-to-Work Office of the U.S.
Departments of Education and Labor, where she collaborated with
a variety of federal and state government entities on various
policy initiatives. In addition, Dr. Crane has held various leadership
positions in professional assocations representing vocational
special needs and transition.
Olatokunbo (Toks) S. Fashola
Olatokunbo S. Fashola is a Research Scientist at the Johns Hopkins
University Center for Social Organization of Schools. She received
her Ph.D. in 1995 from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Her research interests include reading, afterschool programs,
dropout prevention programs, language development, emergent literacy,
program evaluation, educational policy issues, problem solving,
and bilingual education. She has written numerous articles on
these various topics and is co-author of Show Me The Evidence!
Proven and Promising Programs for America's Schools. Her report
Review of Extended-Day and After-School Programs and Their Effectiveness
and her book Building Effective Afterschool Programs have garnered
national attention. She has recently authored two special editions
of Urban Education dedicated to the education of African American
males, and currently serves as National Content Advisor to the
What Works Clearinghouse on the topic of Dropout Prevention. Dr.
Fashola is the recipient of an award for research excellence from
the American Federation of Teachers.
Connie Garner is Policy Director for Disability and Special Populations for
Senator Edward M. Kennedy on the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and
Pensions. Currently, she is responsible for interagency health and
disability policy development for the HELP Committee, and she consults to
the Senate Democratic Caucus on disability related issues.
She served as the lead Democratic staff person for the CHIP legislation in
1997 and the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999. She
is now working as the lead Democratic staff person for the Family
Opportunity Act of 2000 - a bill to allow states to offer a medicaid buy-in
to families with incomes up to 250% of poverty for their significantly
disabled child so that these families can stay together and stay employed -
and she is also the lead Democratic staff person for the reauthorization of
Prior to joining Senator Kennedy, she was Senior Policy Analyst in the
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitation
Services, at the U.S. Department of Education. While working at the U.S.
Department of Education, Connie was the Director of the Interagency
Coordinating Council for Children with Disabilities and also served as the
liaison for the Secretary of Education in all interagency matters related to
health and children. She received her B.S. in Nursing from the University of
Pennsylvania, her MSN from George Mason University, her Ed.S. from George
Washington University, and her doctoral work is in Health and Education
Policy from the George Washington University. Connie is also certified as
Pediatric and Neonatal Nurse Practitioner. She is married to a Pediatrician
and the mother of seven children.
Margaret J. Giannini
The Honorable Margaret J. Giannini, M.D., F.A.A.P. was appointed
October 1, 2002, Director of the Health and Human Service Office
on Disability by Secretary Tommy G. Thompson. She serves as advisor
to the Secretary on HHS activities relating to disabilities. The
office on disability oversees the implementation and coordination
of disability programs, policies, and special initiatives for
54 million persons with disabilities.
Prior to becoming Director of the Office on Disability, Dr. Giannini
was appointed by President George W. Bush as the Principal Deputy
Assistant Secretary for Aging at the Department of Health and
Human Services. From 1981-1992, Dr. Giannini was Deputy Assistant
Chief Medical Director for Rehabilitation and Prosthetics at the
Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington, D.C. There her work
focused on technology transfer and assistive technology involving
all disabilities. In 1979, President Jimmy Carter appointed Dr.
Giannini as the first Director of the National Institute of Handicapped
Research, which was confirmed by the Senate in January of 1980.
Dr. Giannini, in 1950, was the first to create the largest facility
for mentally retarded and the developmentally disabled for all
ages and etiologies in the United States and the world, which
became the first University Center of Excellence on Developmental
Dr. Giannini is the recipient of many national and international
awards from various organizations in recognition of her professional
and humanitarian services and achievements. She was saluted by
the Association for Pediatric Research; selected "Woman of the
Year" for Achievement in Medicine and "Woman-Doer" by President
and Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson; received the Wyeth Medical Achievement
Award; the Seal of the Inner London Education Authority for Contributions
in the Field of Mental Retardation at the House of Parliament
London; and the Governor Hugh Carey Citation for Leadership and
Medical Contributions to the State of New York; presented the
First Honorary Degree by Mercy College Doctor of Humane Letters;
the Meritorious Honor Award in Mental Retardation and awarded
the Key to the City of Bologna, Italy; received the Bronze Medal
Award by the American Academy of Pediatrics; the National Italian-American
Foundation Award for Distinguished Achievements in Science and
Medicine; "Recognition Plaque' from the City of San Francisco;
Seton Award from Seton Hall College, Pittsburgh, PA; the First
Presidential Award for Design Excellence from President Reagan;
the N. Neal Pike Award for Service to the handicapped from Boston
University; the Isabelle and Leonard H. Goldenson Award for Technology
Application to Cerebral Palsy; President Reagan's Distinguished
Service Award, Committee on Employment of the Handicapped; Silver
helmet Award by AMVETS; is in the New York Hall of Fame (AHRC,
'98); and was honored by the naming of the "Hon. Margaret J. Giannini,
M.D. Physical Rehabilitation Pavilion" in 1997 at Westchester
Special School, N.Y.
Dr. Giannini has served on numerous national and international
boards and chaired more than 61 international conferences on rehabilitation
and developmental disabilities in many countries, including Israel,
Italy, Spain, China, Russia, Argentina, India, Egypt and others.
She also has served for many years as Chair of the Board of Trustees,
the American University of Rome, Italy.
She has published extensively and lectured nationally and internationally.
Dr. Giannini has most recently edited "Behavioral Neurology in
the Elderly," December 2001.
Dr. Barbara Guy is the Transition Consultant for the Bureau of
Children, Family, and Community Services in the Iowa Department
of Education. Barb joined the Department of Education from the
University of Minnesota where she was the Director of the National
Transition Network. As the director, she provided technical assistance
to state directors of transition systems change projects funded
by the Department of Special Education Programs. In addition to
her most recent work, Barb's broad perspectives of transition
derive from her work at the University of Kansas and her experiences
teaching students with severe and profound disabilities. This
background has lead to her recognition of the diverse transition
desires and needs of youth with disabilities and the belief that
services and practices need to be flexible and broad enough to
meet that diversity. She is the author of several articles and
book chapters on transition.
Russell Harris is the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for the
Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) at the U.S. Department
of Labor. Congress established the Office of Disability Employment
Policy in December 2000 to bring a heightened and permanent long-term
focus to the goal of increasing the employment of persons with
disabilities, through policy analysis, technical assistance, and
development of best practices. His responsibilities include developing
the strategy and structure of ODEP, as well as managing day-to-day
Prior to coming to the Department of Labor, Mr. Harris was the
Corporate Officer for Human Resources and Compliance at AMTRAK.
He also served as President and CEO of Harris Business Service.
Other positions include Vice President of Human Resources for
the American Public Transit Association and Executive Director
of their Foundation, and the National Director for Human Resources
Research and Publications at the Master Printers of America/PIA.
Mr. Harris is a Senior Professional in Human Resources. He serves
on several boards, including as the Chairman of the Board of Directors
for the Center for Transportation Training, Education and Research.
He is a Commissioner for the State of Virginia Housing Study Commission
and for Human Relations in Fairfax County, Virginia. He has his
undergraduate degree in sociology from the Virginia Union University
and his M.S. in business and human resources from National Louis
University. He also has a certificate in negotiations from the
Mr. Harris is married for 16 years to Nan R. Harris of Richmond,
Virginia. They have two sons, Russell Harris, Jr., who is presently
serving in the United States Marine Corps and Randy J. Harris,
who has recently joined the Secret Service.
Debra's recent experience includes working with school districts
to develop the College Career Connection, an individual support
model designed to assist students with intellectual disabilities
in gaining access to inclusive postsecondary education options
while still enrolled in high school. Specifically, she worked
with communities to: create interagency teams to conduct resource
mapping to identify existing services and supports to improve
post-school outcomes for their youth with disabilities; build
capacity of secondary teachers and college faculty to apply universal
design for learning principles to develop greater access to and
progress in general education curriculum and college courses;
and research students with intellectual disabilities and postsecondary
education through Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation
Services and the National Center for the Study of Postsecondary
Educational Supports (NSPES), a RRTC at the University of Hawaii.
Susan Brody Hasazi
Susan Brody Hasazi, Ed.D. is a Professor in the Department of
Education, Director of the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership
and Policy Studies, and Director of the National Institute on
Leadership, Disability, and Students Placed at Risk at the University
of Vermont. Over her thirty-year career she has focused her research,
practice, and advocacy in the areas of transition, inclusion,
and partnerships with families. She has directed several teacher
preparation programs in special education for transition and high
school special educators, and conducted research in the areas
of postschool outcomes, implementation of transition policies
and practices at the state and local levels, and inclusion of
students with disabilities in the general education curriculum.
Dr. Hasazi received a 1983 Mary Switzer Research Fellowship from
the National Institute for Disability and Rehabilitation Research
for her work related to the vocational and transitional experiences
of youth with disabilities, and in 1995 Dr. Hasazi received a
Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation International Award in Mental
Retardation for her contributions to improving opportunities for
individuals with mental retardation and their families.
Kenneth Hickson is a 21-year-old graduate of the Baltimore City
Public School System (BCPSS.) At age 18, Kenny was accepted into
the BCPSS Baltimore Transition Connection, an age-appropriate
college-based transition program originally funded by OSERS, for
special education students pursuing a Maryland Certificate (not
eligible for a diploma). Kenny's class was located at Baltimore
City Community College. As part of his three years in the program,
Kenny completed a career preparation and exploration program,
volunteered at a local museum, and enrolled in a variety of BCCC
courses, including Adult Basic Education. He continues to take
further ABE courses, and has already increased his reading level
by 2 grades. In addition, Kenny has been working at Giant grocery
store for 2 1/2 years, where he started out as a courtesy clerk
and has been promoted to the deli counter. He hopes to be promoted
again into the bakery department, and in order to help reach that
goal has taken community college cake decorating courses. His
ultimate goal is to enroll in a Culinary Arts school and become
a chef. He currently helps support himself and his mother in their
home in Baltimore.
Dr. Richard Horne currently serves as the Supervisory Research
Analyst for Research and Education at the U.S. Department of Labor's
Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). Richard previously
was the Senior Policy Advisor for ODEP's Youth Policy Team. Prior
to working for ODEP, Richard served as Deputy Director on the
Presidential Task Force on the Employment of Adults with Disabilities.
In addition, Richard was the Deputy Director of the Disabilities
Studies and Services Center, at the Academy for Educational Development,
a non-profit organization, headquartered in Washington, DC, dedicated
to addressing human development needs throughout the world. Richard,
who earned his Doctorate at George Washington University, has
written and presented extensively in the areas of public policy,
systems reform, information utilization, school to work transition,
personnel development, rehabilitation, and employment of individuals
JD Hoye has over 25 years of education reform and workforce development
system change work. She began her career in Oregon as a youth
counselor and culminated the Oregon experience as Associate Superintendent
of Professional Technical Education. She was the first national
director of the National School to Work Office and has been in
private practice since 1998. Her recent work has been assisting
organizations and communities to design strategies to improve
teaching, learning, and connections that improve young people's
opportunities to succeed.
Doris Jamison major responsibilities include managing secondary
transition technical assistance, aligning transition implementation
with other Office of Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals
with Disabilities (VESID) and Special Education Department policy
and career development initiatives, including career and technical
education, general and special education, and vocational rehabilitation;
managing Reading and Math Improvement initiatives; conducting
longitudinal research to measure the impact of existing policies
(i.e., Longitudinal Post School Indicators Transition study, Preschool
Longitudinal Study); demonstrating school-based support service
models for students with mental health needs; and disseminating
information about effective practices. Formerly, Ms. Jamison managed
the secondary transition systems change and the supported employment
systems change grants for VESID. Prior positions included New
York State Education Department Affirmative Action Officer, NYS
Office of Vocational Rehabilitation coordinator for public employer
outreach initiatives, and vocational rehabilitation counselor
both within the State agency and a not-for-profit rehabilitation
Cinda Johnson is the Principal Investigator at the University
of Washington, Seattle, for the Center for Change in Transition
Services. In her work at the University, she teaches and conducts
research in the field of secondary special education. Dr. Johnson
directs the collection, analysis, and dissemination of the post-school
status data for special education graduates in Washington State.
She conducts training and writes curricula in the area of vocational
assessment and student driven IEPs.
David R. Johnson
David R. Johnson, Ph.D. is presently Director of the National
Center on Secondary Education and Transition. Dr. Johnson is also
Director of the Institute on Community Integration (UCEDD) and
Professor in the Department of Educational Policy and Administration,
College of Education and Human Development at the University of
Minnesota. His research interests include investigations of the
postschool outcomes and status of young adults with disabilities,
evaluations concerning access and participation of young adults
with disabilities in postsecondary education programs, studies
on systems change, cost-benefit analysis, and other policy-related
research. Dr. Johnson has also served as consultant to several
national, regional, and state organizations including NIDRR, National
School-to-Work Office, Rehabilitation Services Administration,
National Alliance of Business, Council for Exceptional Children,
and several Congressional Committees. Dr. Johnson has published
numerous journal articles, book chapters, research monographs,
and technical reports and products on topics concerning secondary
education, special education, rehabilitation, transition, school-to-work,
Dr. Jones has extensive experience in career development and secondary
transition programs at district and state levels. She has developed and
coordinated multi-agency school employment projects that have received
national recognition from the U.S. Department of Labor. Working for the
Kansas State Board of Education, she conducted extensive, statewide training
on transition services and directed federal grants that created interagency
data collection of post-school outcomes for students with disabilities. At
the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, Dr.
Jones, an Education Research Analyst, is on the Secondary Education and
Transition Team where she is project officer for discretionary grants and
serves as an expert on high school reform issues. Bonnie earned her
doctorate at Teachers College, Columbia University and teaches as an adjunct
faculty member at the Graduate School of Education, George Mason University.
Dr. Kiernan has more than thirty years of experience in the areas
of employment training, public policy development, and organizational
change. He has been the Principal Investigator on a number of
national research, training, and technical assistance centers
addressing issues of employment, systems change, service integration,
and inclusion. He has also been involved in personnel preparation
programs addressing rehabilitation, education, administration,
and public policy at the graduate levels. He has worked with many
of federal and state agencies addressing issues of service integration
and program development and has written extensively in the fields
of employment of individuals with disabilities, workforce development,
systems change, and organizational development.
Dr. Kochhar is a Professor of Special Education at the George
Washington University. For 16 years she has developed and directed
Doctoral Leadership, Educational Specialist, and Masters training
programs with a focus on secondary education and transition. She
has taught doctoral courses in special education legal issues
and public policy, systemic change and leadership, research and
development methods, and interdisciplinary planning and development.
She currently consults with public school districts, state departments
of education and federal agencies on transition development and
state improvement planning. Dr. Kochhar is widely published in
areas of disability policy, leadership development, interagency
service coordination, career-vocational programming, and school-to-work
transition for special learners. Dr. Kochhar is past President
of the Division on Career Development and Transition of the International
Council for Exceptional Children.
Stephanie Smith Lee has been the Director of the Office of Special
Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education, since February
21, 2002. Mrs. Lee has had 30 years of experience in public policy
at the local, state, and federal levels. In the 1970's she held
senior professional staff positions for members of the U.S. House,
U.S. Senate, and the Senate Education and Labor Committee.
Prior to joining the Administration, she served for 15 years as
a Foundation Administrator for the Sunmark Foundation, which funds
organizations that promote free enterprise economics. She has
held a number of positions related to employment, education, and
disability policy, including serving as the Governmental Affairs
Representative of the National Down Syndrome Society and has served
on many commissions, panels, and study committees, including serving
as a Republican Senate appointee to the Ticket to Work Advisory
Panel, which advises the President, Congress and the Social Security
Administration on work incentive issues for individuals with disabilities.
Mrs. Lee has a daughter, Laura, who is 20 years old and has Down
Dr. Lehr is a Research Associate with the Institute on Community
Integration, at the University of Minnesota. She is the Principal
Investigator and Director of the Alternative Schools Research
Project, a three-year federally funded project (2001-2004) studying
alternative schools across the nation and issues related to serving
youth with disabilities in these settings. Prior to directing
the Alternative Schools Research Project, she co-directed a truancy
prevention/student engagement project for children and youth in
elementary and middle schools (Check & Connect). She and her colleagues
recently completed an integrative review of the professional literature
on dropout intervention and a NCSET manual for policymakers, administrators
and educators focused on increasing rates of school completion.
Dr. Luecking is President of TransCen, Inc., a non-profit organization
based in Rockville, Maryland that is known nationally for its
training and technical assistance in school-to-work transition
initiatives, systems change in education, and career development
of individuals with disabilities. During his tenure in this position,
Dr. Luecking has been responsible for the implementation and direction
of numerous model demonstration and research projects related
to school-to-work transition and employment of individuals with
disabilities. His particular professional interests include improving
and expanding business/education relationships and the participation
of individuals with disabilities in workforce investment systems.
Irene C. Lynn
Irene C. Lynn has over 30 years experience in workforce development
programs. Prior to joining the Institute for Educational Leadership,
Ms. Lynn managed the Department of Labor's (DOL) Workforce Investment
Act youth programs, both the State-formula funded programs and
the Youth Opportunity grant programs. In this capacity, she managed
federal staff, guided federal program and policy development,
and managed the technical assistance for and performance oversight
of DOL-funded State and local youth program operations. Ms. Lynn
also has extensive experience in school-to-work programs, having
spent four years in the Departments of Education and Labor's National
School-to-Work Office. Her background also includes work in the
DOL-administered apprenticeship program and the unemployment insurance
Katherine McCary is a Vice President in Human Resources and Manager
of Accessing Community Talent (ACT) at SunTrust Bank Mid-Atlantic.
She has over 28 years of staffing experience and in her 13 years
with SunTrust her contributions to SunTrust Mid-Atlantic's diversity
efforts have resulted in internal, regional and national recognition.
The ACT program is a SunTrust diversity program that targets under
employed and unemployed applicant pipelines for employment, including
diverse populations such as minorities, older workers, welfare
to work, transitioning military, dislocated workers, veterans,
youth, and individuals with disabilities.
Mr. McGill directs the Office of Employment Support Programs at
the Social Security Administration. That office is responsible
for policy and programs supporting the employment of people with
disabilities who receive Social Security and Supplemental Security
Income (SSI) benefits. He has held a number of different positions
since beginning his career with Social Security as a claims representative
in 1973. He has served in management and policy positions at the
local, regional and central office levels. Mr. McGill and his
staff are currently leading the implementation of the Ticket to
Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999. Mr. McGill is
a graduate of Dartmouth College. He is married, with two daughters.
Margaret McLaughlin has conducted research related to standards-driven
reform and students with disabilities for over 15 years. Most
recently her research has focused on issues related to: No Child
Left Behind (NCLB) and school-level factors that appear to promote
better results for students with disabilities; access to the general
education curriculum; and quality indicators for special education.
As the Center for Applied Special Technology's (CAST) Director
of Professional Services, Grace Meo develops and provides professional
development to K-12 teachers and administrators throughout the
U.S. and oversees a national network of K-12 schools and educators
who collaborate with CAST on researching, designing, modeling,
and disseminating universally designed materials and practices
that address the needs of all learners. Ms. Meo also serves as
the Director of Research-to-Practice for the National Center on
Accessing the General Curriculum, a five-year Office of Special
Education Programs-funded initiative led by CAST. Early in her
career, Ms. Meo was a founding member of CAST, helping to shape
the organization's mission, structure and goals. From 1988 – 1997,
she was the Elementary Technology Coordinator at the Hamilton-Wenham
(Massachusetts) Regional School District. Before rejoining CAST
in 1999, Ms. Meo served for two years as Technology Specialist
to the Massachusetts Department of Education, leading a statewide
effort to integrate technology into curricula. Ms. Meo holds a
Master of Education in Early Childhood Education from Boston Graduate
School of Education and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from
Regis College. She served on CAST's Board of Directors from 1986-99.
Jonathan Mooney is a writer with dyslexia and activist who did
not learn to read until he was 12 years old. He is a graduate
of Brown University and a holds an honors degree in English Literature.
Jonathan is co-founder of Project Eye-To-Eye, a widely duplicated
mentoring program for students with disabilities. He is also a
winner of the prestigious Truman Scholarship for graduate studies
in creative writing and education, and was a national finalist
for the Rhodes scholarship. With the publication of Learning Outside
the Lines when he was 23, now in its eighth printing, a book that
is part memoir and part alternative study skills, Jonathan has
established himself as one of the foremost leaders in LD/ADHD,
disabilities, and alternative education. In the fall of 2004,
Jonathan's second book, The Short Bus Story, a work of creative
non-fiction, part travel literature, part memoir, part oral history,
consisting of true tales of physical and cognitive deviance from
a cross-country journey through disabled culture, will be published
by Henry Holt.
Jonathan has lectured at Harvard University Graduate School of
Education, Brown University, the University of Wisconsin-School
of Education, New York University Medical School's Grand Rounds,
and Beaumont Pediatric Hospital's Grand Rounds. But to date, his
favorite gig was at an elementary school in Grand Rapids, Michigan,
where the kids gave him hope.
Jonathan has been featured and quoted in The New York Times, the
Providence Journal, the Boston Globe, USA Today, and numerous
other local and regional papers in the cities, states, and countries
where Jonathan has traveled. His most memorable experience, however,
was being interviewed for the Brazilian cable company, El Globo,
where his voice was dubbed into Portuguese. The company reported
that they haven't received that much mail since their feature
on David Hasselhoff.
Patricia A. Morrissey was appointed Commissioner of the Administration
on Developmental Disabilities (ADD) effective August 27, 2001.
Commissioner Morrissey overseas four major discretionary grant
programs authorized by the Developmental Disabilities Assistance
and Bill of Rights Act of 2000.
Dr. Morrissey holds a Ph.D. in special education from The Pennsylvania
State University. Before becoming ADD Commissioner, she was a
senior associate with Booz Allen Hamilton, an international technology
and management consulting firm with headquarters in McLean, VA.
There, Morrissey oversaw Booz Allen Hamilton's efforts to help
federal agencies make their electronic and information technology
accessible to and useable by individuals with disabilities.
During her 26 years in the Washington area, Dr. Morrissey has
worked for the Senate, the House of Representatives, and President
Ronald Reagan. In 1999, while with the Senate, she worked with
the then-Wisconsin Governor Thompson's office on the development
and passage of the Ticket-to-Work and Work Incentives Improvement
Act. More recently, Morrissey was a contributor to President George
W. Bush's New Freedom Initiative.
Chad Nye is currently the Executive Director for the University
of Central Florida - Center for Autism & Related Disabilities,
a regional state-funded technical service and support center for
individuals, families, professionals, and organizations working
in the area of Autism Spectrum Disorders. He is a Senior Content
Advisor with the What Works Clearinghouse, developing a systematic
review of the effectiveness of high school dropout prevention
in the United States. The primary focus of Dr. Nye's research
efforts has been in the area of systematic reviews of interventions
for special needs children and adults. He is also the Coordinator
for the Campbell Collaboration Education Coordinating Group.
Dr. Ed O'Leary has spent over 30 years working in and with schools
as a secondary special education teacher, special education consultant,
transition specialist, work experience coordinator, program specialist,
and program director. He has also taught at the graduate and undergraduate
level and has worked in Vocational Rehabilitation. He has trained
and presented nationally on the transition requirements under
IDEA 97 and has developed an approach in helping districts and
states meet the transition requirements and demonstrate improvement
and results. The Transition Outcome Projects are now operating
in 22 states. His most current publications include co-authoring:
Transition Requirements – A Guide for States, Districts, Schools,
Universities and Families (2000); Transition Services
– Helping Educators, Parents, and Others Understand: Postschool
Outcomes, Course of Study and Coordinated Set of Activities
Glenda Partee has extensive policy and program experience in public
K-12 and higher education extending over 20 years. She has been
a public school teacher and served on the staff of a number of
education organizations such as the Council of Chief State School
Officers, the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher
Education, the National Advisory Committee on Black Higher Education,
U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, and the Institute
for Services to Education. She has served as American Youth Policy
Forum (AYPF) Co-Director since January, 1995. Ms. Partee organizes
a portion of AYPF's speaker forums and field trips, and organizes
meetings designed to bring policymakers together to discuss issues
that affect youth. She has recently edited Looking Forward:
School-to-Work Principles and Strategies for Sustainability.
L. Allen Phelps
Currently, Dr. Phelps is Director of the Center on Education and
Work and a Professor of Educational Administration at the University
of Wisconsin-Madison. With his colleagues in the Research Institute
on Secondary Education Reform for Students with Disabilities,
he has examined authentic teaching and learning practices in four
inclusive high schools and the impact on students with disabilities
over the past five years. In high schools and classrooms where
students with disabilities have access to a general education
curriculum focused on deep and reflective intellectual inquiry,
students with and without disabilities are succeeding in postsecondary
education, employment, and civic engagement at levels that, in
most cases, exceed the national performance levels found in recent
Bonnie Politz is Vice-President and Co-Director of the Academy
for Educational Development's (AED) Center for Youth Development
and Policy Research in Washington, D.C.. In this capacity, she
coordinates the Center's efforts to mobilize communities and to
strengthen the youth development infrastructure at the local,
state and national levels. Staff and project management, proposal
development and fundraising, enhancing organization and community
linkages, and meeting facilitation are tasks associated with this
As the National Association for State Director's of Special Education's
(NASDSE) Director of Government Relations, Nancy Reder has closely
followed the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act and
its implications for students with disabilities. She has also
been following the reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities
Education Act and she represents NASDSE as a National Center on
Secondary Education and Transition partner.
Curtis Richards is a nationally recognized leader in the disability
community. For the past three years, he served in the Clinton
Administration as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Office
of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services in the U.S. Department
of Education. In that capacity, Richards administered more than
$10 billion of national programs in special education, disability
research and vocational rehabilitation for youth and adults with
disabilities. Since leaving government, Richards has formed his
own public policy consulting and lobbying business, known as The
Advocrat Group, with an emphasis on issues of disability, education
and employment. Before trekking to Washington, Richards was Chief
Consultant to the California State Assembly's Budget Committee
where he guided strategy for legislative discussion, modification
and adoption of a state-spending plan. As he did for several years,
Richards held specific budget responsibilities for key programs
and department serving people with disabilities, including special
education, vocational rehabilitation, aging & long term care,
mental health and developmental services. And, from 1991 to 1995,
Richards served as an Assistant Director for Consumer Affairs
in the California Department of Rehabilitation.
Richards also has an extensive background in postsecondary education.
He served as Consultant to a California State Assembly committee
on higher education from 1985 to 1991, and, before that, lobbied
for California State University students for five years. Richards
is still pursuing a Master's Degree in Government from California
State University, Sacramento and holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree
in Government-Journalism from the same institution.
Richards has spoken extensively on disability issues throughout
the country on a wide range of topics including the disability
civil rights movement, the Americans with Disabilities Act, education
of disabled youth and adults, and disability and employment. And,
a freelance writer, he has a number of magazine, journal and newsletter
articles in his portfolio, many addressing the same subjects.
Richards has been honored for his work in the disability field.
Among his numerous awards are: a 2000 Certificate of Appreciation
from the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities, a 1999 Disability
Rights Activist Award from the California Foundation of Independent
Living Centers, and the 1997 Lanterman Award from the California
Association of Postsecondary Education and the Disabled. Richards
has been visually impaired since he was a toddler.
Erin Riehle was Clinical Director for the Emergency Department
at Children's Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati, Ohio from
1989 to 1998. It is the highest volume pediatric Emergency Department
in the nation with 88,000 visits per year and is a Level 1 Trauma
Center. Erin received her Bachelors of Science in Nursing and
her Masters of Science in Nursing Administration from The University
of Cincinnati. She did post-graduate work in anthropology at The
University of Cincinnati. Erin is currently employed by Children's
Hospital Medical Center and the Children's Convalescent Hospital
and serves as the Co-Director of Project SEARCH, a unique collaboration
between healthcare, education and service agencies. Project SEARCH
seeks to create innovative solutions for workforce and career
development for people with disabilities.
Richard is Executive Director of the Federation for Children with
Special Needs and the parent of two young adults with Down syndrome
who are in the midst of their transition years to adult activities.
Amy, the older sister, is a part-time student at the local Community
College and working as a teaching assistant at a day care center.
She also loves drama and music and has participated in several
community productions. Jason, her younger brother, is finishing
his last year at the high school in community and volunteers time
at a local food pantry. As a father and in his role at the Federation,
Richard is particularly concerned with assisting young people
with disabilities to find and participate in "typical" postsecondary
activities that support their full involvement in their communities
and support development of appropriate employment or career supports.
Judy Shanley has been a Principal Research Analyst at the American
Institutes for Research (AIR) for nearly five years and is currently
the Co-Director of The Access Center: Improving Outcomes for
All Students K-8, funded by the U.S. Department of Education,
Office of Special Education Programs. In this position, Dr. Shanley
is responsible for managing Center activities and implementing
and evaluating technical assistance activities at the state and
local levels. She has a Ph.D. from the University of Florida in
Special Education, with an emphasis on transition, and an M.B.A.
and M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling, both from Syracuse University.
Jennifer Sheehy is the President's appointed Special
Assistant for Employment to the Assistant Secretary of the Office
of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services (OSERS) in the
U.S. Department of Education. Jennifer came to OSERS from the
Presidential Task Force on Employment of Adults with Disabilities
where she was Senior Policy Advisor and Director of Business Partnerships.
She recently completed a detail as Associate Director of the White
House Office of Domestic Policy, managing the President‚s
New Freedom Initiative and advising on policy issues of interest
to people with disabilities. Prior to her work on the task force,
Jennifer served as Vice President of the National Organization
on Disability and Director of its CEO Council.
Jennifer graduated with honors in June of 1997, earning an MBA
from Georgetown University. While in school, she worked in marketing
research with Anheuser-Busch Companies in St. Louis. Before business
school, she worked in marketing and management for Sheraton and
Marriott. A graduate of Cornell University, Jennifer earned a
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and English. She has received many
civic and achievement awards including the Federal Computer Week
Federal 100 Technology Award; the "Community Award"
from the National Conference for Community and Justice; the National
Association for Women in Education "Woman of Distinction"
award; and the Diet Coke/Glamour magazine "Women at Their
Best" award. Jennifer serves as Vice Chair on the board of
the National Conference for Community and Justice and President-elect
of the National Rehabilitation Hospital Board of Associates. She
resides in Washington DC and loves sailing, golf, and soaring.
David is the state secondary transition coordinator for the Rhode
Island Department of Education, Office of Special Needs. He was
the coordinator for RITIE, (Rhode Island Transition Independence-Employment)
federal systems change grant for transition from 1997-2001 at
Sherlock Center on Disabilities and has managed other federal
grants for several years at Rhode Island College. Before moving
to Rhode Island College, David was the Program Director for the
Blackstone Valley Arc and developed transition service programs
for youth with developmental disabilities in Pawtucket, Central
Falls and East Providence schools from the early 1980's through
1994. David has an M.A. in Special Education from Rhode Island
College and is an adjunct faculty member at Rhode Island College
and Providence College. David was the recipient of the George
F. Moore Award from the Rhode Island Rehabilitation Association
in 2002 for advocacy for the employment of people with disabilities
and is the current vice chair of the Rhode Island Rehabilitation
Robert A. Stodden
Dr. Robert A. Stodden is the current Past President of the Association
of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) board of directors.
Professionally trained in Psychology, Special Education, and Rehabilitation,
he has served more than twenty-five years as a national leader
in the fields of special education, school to adult transition,
postsecondary education, and employment for persons with disabilities.
Since 1988, he has served as the founding Director of the Center
on Disability Studies (a University Center for Excellence) and
Professor of Special Education at the University of Hawaii at
Manoa. He also serves as the originator and director of the National
Center for the Study of Postsecondary Educational Supports (NCSPES)
and the National Technical Assistance Center for the Employment
of Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders with Disabilities at the
University of Hawaii at Manoa. Over the past 25 years, Dr. Stodden
has served as principal investigator/director for more than 100
research and training projects focused upon improving the quality
of life for all persons with disabilities. He has been a keynote
speaker and invited presenter for many international and national
conferences, and has served as a consultant within numerous foreign
countries and for more than 20 different states within the United
States. In 1995, Dr. Stodden was selected as a Joseph P. Kennedy
Foundation Senior Policy Fellow, working in the United States
Senate to develop and draft policy language for major pieces of
disability legislation. In addition to serving as the President
of the board for AUCD, he serves on policy committees of the National
Association of Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers, and
as a member of the Board of Directors for Division on Development
Disabilities, International Council for Exceptional Children (CEC).
Jane Storms has been an Educational Consultant with the Western
Regional Resource Center (WRRC) since 1984 with special expertise
in secondary transition. Other areas of expertise include effective
teaching and learning for all students with a special interest
in those with disabilities; advocacy of students and adults with
disabilities and their families; state improvement systems, comprehensive
systems of personnel development, and results accountability.
Jane's experience spans classroom instruction, community and employment
training, staff development, and state level policy development.
She has been a high school career development coordinator in Eugene,
Oregon and Training Director with Winners at Work in Honolulu,
Hawaii. She currently provides technical assistance with 13 states
and jurisdictions in the western U.S. and Pacific jurisdictions
with an emphasis in secondary education and transition and state
improvement systems. Coordination and collaboration are central
to her work. Jane has a strong interest in the area of siblings
with disabilities and families and has a brother who has cerebral
palsy and a sister who has polio and uses a wheelchair.
Carl Suter, from the State of Illinois, is the Executive Director
of the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation
(CSAVR). He assumed this position in November 2001. Prior to joining
the CSAVR, Mr. Suter was the Director of the Illinois Office of
Rehabilitation Services for five years. He oversaw a budget of
nearly $500 million dollars that included programs such as vocational
rehabilitation, a $300 million dollar in-home care program for
persons with disabilities, three schools for children with disabilities
and Disability Adjudicative Services for determining eligibility
for benefits for the Social Security Disability Insurance Program
and Supplemental Security Income in Illinois. During his tenure
as State Director, he led sweeping reforms of the Illinois Vocational
Rehabilitation Services Program so as to provide world class customer
service to the nearly 70,000 individuals with disabilities served
through its programs. Mr. Suter has also served as the Executive
Director of the Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities
and as the Associate Director of the Illinois Association of Rehabilitation
Sue Swenson is Assistant Executive Director for chapter, membership,
and program services at The Arc of the United States. She also
serves the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation as Executive Director.
She was Commissioner of the Administration on Developmental Disabilities
in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from 1998
to July of 2001 and was a fellow of the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr.
Foundation working on IDEA and the DD Act in the U.S. Senate Subcommittee
on Disability Policy in 1996. She is the mother of three sons,
one of whom -- Charlie, age 21 -- has developmental disabilities.
She has a professional background in marketing and management
of interdisciplinary professional services; an M.B.A. from the
University of Minnesota; and both an A.B. and an A.M. in interdisciplinary
humanities from the University of Chicago. She believes that systems
change must focus on building sustainable systems that are diverse,
flexible, and sensitive to the feedback of people who depend on
Peter N. Squire
Peter N. Squire is a scientist working for the Gun Weapons System
T-25 branch at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division
in Virginia. He received his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
from Mary Washington College in May 2002- graduating Magna Cum
Laude, and with departmental honors. Peter has completed/work
on several projects at Dahlgren including: Gun Weapons System
development of Plan Position Indicator or Tacsit; Nano Neuronal
Coupler (NNC) biological research directed towards a Brain Computer
Interface; and Autonomous Agents simulation, researching and construction
layer architecture of agent behaviors.
Peter conducted research in a variety of areas while an undergraduate
student. Most significant was his selection to a Research Experience
for Undergraduate Fellowship at Duke University, where he designed
and constructed a GUI that simulated a MRI scan. Peter has also
done research pertaining to the graphical differences between
Matlab and OpenGL at Mary Washington College. In addition, he
also conducted psychology-related research in the area of cognition
resulting in the presentation of two projects: Is it There? Word
Effects on Letter Recognition and The Effects of Cell Phone Interruption
and Usage on the Performance of an Arithmetic Task at the annual
Psychology Psi Chi Symposiums.
Outside of work, Peter is an active member in the National Youth
Leadership Network, co-chairing: Institute Planning, Bylaws, Public-Education,
and the Research Committee's. The National Youth Leadership Network
is a federally funded group which seeks to promote leadership
development and education in the pursuit of ensuring that all
youth with disabilities have the opportunity to attain their maximum,
unique and personal potential.
Martha Thurlow, Ph.D. is the Director of the National Center on
Educational Outcomes (NCEO) at the University of Minnesota. In
this position, she addresses the implications of contemporary
U.S. policy and practice for students with disabilities, including
national and statewide assessment policies and practices, standards-setting
efforts, and graduation requirements. Dr. Thurlow has conducted
research involving special education for the past 30 years in
a variety of areas, including assessment and decision making,
learning disabilities, early childhood education, dropout prevention,
effective classroom instruction, and integration of students with
disabilities in general education settings.
Steven James Tingus
Steven James Tingus was appointed by President George W. Bush,
under the leadership of Secretary of Education Rod Paige, as Director
of the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research
(NIDRR) in October of 2001. NIDRR is a component of the Office
of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services within the U.S.
Department of Education. Prior to his appointment to NIDRR, Mr.
Tingus was the Director of Resource Development and Public Policy
for the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers,
Inc. (CFILC) and its nonprofit project, the Assistive Technology
"AT" Network. During his oversight of the AT Network, Mr. Tingus
was recognized as a strong voice for the disability community,
fighting for equal access to education, healthcare, employment,
housing, transportation, and opportunities for all persons, regardless
of disability. In addition, Mr. Tingus co-authored President Bush's
New Freedom Initiative (NFI). The NFI is the blueprint for current
Federal policy supporting individuals with disabilities. Mr. Tingus
has an acute understanding of the personalities, policymakers
and organizations affecting disability policy both statewide and
nationally, and maintains strong contacts to elected officials
on both sides of the political aisle.
In his work for CFILC and its AT Network, Mr. Tingus developed
successful and diverse media, public outreach and fundraising
efforts, working with such organizations as the National Council
on Independent Living, the American Association of People with
Disabilities and the National Organization on Disability. He testified
on state legislation affecting disability policy issues ranging
from special education, Medicaid eligibility guidelines, home
modification and universal design, assistive technology funding,
and long-term care.
From 1995 to 1998, Mr. Tingus served as the Health Care Policy
Analyst for the California Department of Health Services (DHS).
As public liaison and legislative expert for DHS, one of the largest
state departments, he represented DHS at interagency meetings
and helped the Director design and implement initiatives pertaining
to long-term care and disability policy.
Mr. Tingus previously worked as a Postgraduate Researcher at the
University of California-Davis, where he studied muscular dystrophy
and the effect of anabolic steroids on skeletal muscle regeneration.
He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of
California-Davis in Biological Sciences, a Master of Science degree
in 1990 and a Candidate in Philosophy degree (Ph.D. ABD) in Physiology
Gerald N. Tirozzi has served as Executive Director of the National
Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) since March
1999. NASSP is the preeminent organization and the national voice
for middle level and high school principals, assistant principals,
and aspiring school leaders. Dr. Tirozzi recognizes that there
are many complex issues facing the nation's middle level and high
schools, and asserts that NASSP plays pivotal role in addressing
such issues as promoting school reform, dramatically increasing
school enrollment, increasing the voice of the principal, restoring
public confidence in secondary schools, and ensuring safe and
orderly learning environments.
Prior to his position at NASSP (1996-1999), Dr. Tirozzi served
as Assistant Secretary of Elementary and Secondary Education at
the U.S. Department of Education, a position appointed by President
Clinton. As Assistant Secretary, he oversaw the administration
of 42 federal education programs that represented an $11 billion
Dr. Tirozzi is a nationally recognized leader in education reform,
having spent over 40 years working to improve teaching and learning
for all students by promoting high academic standards and initiating
major teaching reforms. From 1993-1995, he was a tenured professor
at the University of Connecticut's Department of Educational Leadership,
where his concentration was on urban education, educational policy,
and the preparation of school superintendents. From 1991-93, Dr.
Tirozzi was the President of Wheelock College in Boston, Massachusetts.
He served as Connecticut's Commissioner of Education from 1983-1991,
where he played a major leadership role in developing and implementing
the Connecticut Mastery Test, which received national recognition
as an assessment model to promote high academic standards and
expectations. In addition, he implemented major teaching reforms
that promoted both higher salaries and standards, which were at
the core of an unprecedented $300 million Educational Improvement
Act from the Connecticut General Assembly in 1986.
Dr. Tirozzi holds a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Educational
Administration and Higher Education from Michigan State University.
He has a Sixth Year Certificate in Education Administration from
Fairfield University in Connecticut. He received a Master of Arts
Degree in Guidance and Counseling and a Bachelor of Science Degree
in Elementary Education from Southern Connecticut State University.
Betsy Valnes actively participates on the Youth Leadership/Advisory
Councils for the National Youth Leadership Network and the National
Council on Disability, while also serving as the sole U.S. youth
ambassador for an international council. She serves state programs
such as the Youth Leadership Forum, the Traumatic Brain Injury
Council, and the State Independent Living Council. Betsy's primary
disability-related interests are transition services, cultural
diversity, correctional facilities, and self-advocacy training,
all of which she has researched on state, regional, and national
levels. After obtaining a B.A. in religion, with emphasis on cultural
ethics, and minors in journalism and psychology, Betsy works as
the Transition Liaison for the central region of South Dakota.
Dr. Wagner is Principal Investigator of OSEP's National Longitudinal
Transition Study-2 (NLTS2), which is assessing over a 10-year
period the characteristics, experiences, and results of a nationally
representative sample of more than 11,000 secondary-school-age
youth who were receiving special education services in 2000 and
who will transition to young adulthood over the life of the study.
Dr. Wagner also served in a similar role for the original National
Longitudinal Transition Study (1983-1993), which helped shape
Federal special education policy for a decade. Dr. Wagner, and
the 65-person staff of SRI International's Center for Education
and Human Services, which she directs, conducts research and evaluation
on many aspects of disability policy and other issues affecting
children, youth, and families across the age range.
Jamie Watts is a December, 2002 Summa Cum Laude graduate of the University
of Missouri-Columbia. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Communication
with a minor in Psychology. In addition to being involved with student
government on her campus and serving as a Student Outreach Team Leader for
the PACE-IT grant (Paving Avenues for Competitive Employment in Information
Technology), Jamie has completed three internships in the D.C. area through
the Workforce Recruitment Program for College Students with Disabilities.
She has worked in the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability
Employment Policy, the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense
for Equal Opportunity, and with the Computer/Electronic Accommodations
Program (CAP). Jamie is currently employed by the National Organization on
Disability, where she leads the National Partnership Program.
Dr. Weast is superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools
(MCPS). Appointed by the Board of Education in 1999, Dr. Weast
has directed a series of reform measures designed to improve the
academic performance of students, particularly those impacted
by poverty, English as a second language, and disabilities. Ongoing
initiatives include improved early childhood education, expanded
full-day kindergarten, increased academic rigor, comprehensive
teacher development, strengthened accountability, and expanded
parent and community involvement. MCPS is the largest school district
in Maryland, the 18th largest in the United States, and the 12th
fastest growing district in the nation. This year, more than 140,000
students are enrolled in 191 schools, the largest enrollment in
the school system's history.
Teresa Whelley, Ed.D., has family members who have disabilities
and has worked with and for people with disabilities for 27 years
in institutions, community services, state agencies, public schools,
colleges, research institutes and universities. She has worked
in the area of transition from school-to-work for 18 years. Dr.
Whelley is a member of the Employment /Education Committee of
the Hawaii State Planning Council on Developmental Disabilities
in Hawaii, a member of TASH, an international advocacy organization,
and a member of the Coalition for Students with Significant Disabilities
in Postsecondary Education. Her research includes transition,
postsecondary education, families of people with disabilities,
and developmental disabilities. She has taught in the areas of
families, special education, and in community social services.
Madeleine C. Will
Ms. Will has served as Vice President for Strategic Planning and
Advocacy (Washington based) for Community Options, Inc. Princeton,
New Jersey since 1997. In this position, she is responsible for
the development of a conference and training center in Washington,
D.C... Her duties include site selection (real estate transaction
and renovation), program development and fund raising of 5-10
million dollars of public and private monies. She is also responsible
for the development and implementation of a strategic plan to
create micro-enterprises and other income-generating activities
for people with disabilities.
From 1989 to 1997, Ms. Will worked as President and Chief Operating
Office for Childlink International of Chevy Chase, Maryland. In
this position, she served as consultant for 1997 IDEA (Individuals
with Disabilities Education Act) Congressional Reauthorization
– National Parent Network on Disabilities; edited Education and
the Culture of Democracy: Early Childhood Practices – Children's
Resources International (funded by the Soros Foundation/Open Society
Institute); trained American trainers for "Step By Step," a program
of Children's Resources International; evaluated disability programs
in Sofia, Bulgaria – Bulgarian American Friendship Society; trained
Czech and Slovak health and education professionals, managers
and directors of non-governmental organizations in Prague (Czech
Republic) – American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JD.C.);
assisted in the development and coordination of project sites
in Prague, Bratislava, Pecs, Budapest and Debrecen for Georgetown
University's Child Development Center Central European Child Health
Project; and evaluated vocational training programs in Milan,
Italy – Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
In 1983, Ms. Will was appointed Assistant Secretary of the Office
of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services (OSERS) in the
U.S. Department of Education (DOE) in Washington, DC. She assumed
responsibility for management of three principal components of
the DOE (Office of Special Education, the Rehabilitation Services
Administration, and the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation
Research). She managed an agency staff of more than 400 persons,
administration of an annual budget in excess of $4 billion and
oversight of awarding $360 million in discretionary funds; developed
a major regulatory package for federal education programs, establishing
key research priorities; and managed research programs addressing
the full spectrum of educational, rehabilitation and medical issues.
Ms. Will served as Assistant Secretary of OSERS until 1989. A
resident of Chevy Chase, Maryland, Ms. Will earned a Bachelor
of Arts degree in History from Smith College and a Master of Arts
in History from the University of Toronto.
Ms Wills is the Director of the Center for Workforce Development (CWD) that
concentrates its work on the development and improvement of
employment-related learning systems in the United States. It focuses on
development of new tools (such as skill standards); systems improvements
(such as transition from school to work, adult literacy programs); and
capacity of institutions (such as employer-led organizations to work with
education institutions and youth serving agencies). The Center is the lead
organization for the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for
Youth. The Collaborative has 10 organizations representing both general
workforce development and disability expertise. The Center works with such
organizations as the National Association of Manufacturers and several other
industry groups to develop standards and work-based education and training
products and services.
The Honorable Joanne Wilson is the 10th Commissioner of the Rehabilitation
Services Administration (RSA), having been appointed to this position in
2001 by President George W. Bush. As RSA Commissioner, Ms. Wilson
administers a $2.7 billion dollar program that annually provides services to
more than 1 million people with disabilities. Prior to this appointment, Ms.
Wilson created, developed and oversaw the daily administration of Louisiana
Center for the Blind (LCB), Louisiana's first adult orientation and
adjustment and independent living center for people who are blind. Ms.
Wilson's passion for improving rehabilitation and education services in the
state of Louisiana led her to establish eight additional programs, created
to increase the employment potential of Louisiana's citizens who are blind.
Ms. Wilson graduated with honors from Iowa State University in 1969, where
she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education and was
named a Merrill Palmer scholar. In 1971, she earned a Master's degree in
Guidance and Counseling/Administration from Iowa State University and for a
number of years taught in the Ames, Iowa public school system. Ms. Wilson
considers her own rehabilitation training at the Iowa Commission for the
Blind during 1966 to be the catalyst which changed her life, and ultimately
the compelling force which led her to establish a model training facility
for serving individuals who are blind.
A tireless and energetic advocate for persons with disabilities, Ms. Wilson
is a much sought after public speaker, called upon to address rehabilitation
professionals, educators, and public agency personnel who seek to employ the
unique strategies and training techniques for which LCB is recognized. She
has demonstrated that an effective partnership in which a private entity
works in tandem with a public rehabilitation agency can, and does, work to
best serve the needs of people with disabilities.