Session Speaker Biographies

Instructional Strands


Joanne AllainJoanne Allain , a national consultant with 3t Literacy Group, works with states, districts and schools across the country to develop, implement and coach practical, customized RtI systems and instruction.  Her career experience at both the classroom and district level provides the unique perspective of a practitioner in real schools with real students. Through the planning process, Joanne guides educators to build manageable and effective plans that apply research to a school or district’s unique needs. She also works on-site with RtI teams, teachers and administrators at primary, intermediate, middle, high school and district levels to guide, refine, and sustain tiered instruction and planning.  Joanne is the author of Logistics of Literacy Intervention; A Planning Guide for Middle and High School, Logistics of Literacy Intervention: An RtI Planning Guide for Elementary Schools and RtI: The Forgotten Tier; A Practical Planning Guide for Building a Data Driven Tier 1 Instruction Process.


douglass.jpgMichele Douglass, Ph.D. is the president of MD School Solutions, Inc., a company that contracts with school districts on content and pedagogy with teachers and leaders. Her experience ranges from math instructor to director of curriculum and instruction at Educational Testing Services. She has authored several math curricula, as well as professional development and technology programs.


Co-Teaching and Collaboration 

Jennifer Huber, Ph.D., has been teaching for over 20 years, in general education, special education, and inclusive settings. She received her Ph.D. at Clemson University in South Carolina in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis in special education. Recently, Jennifer completed a post-doctoral fellowship with the Equity Alliance at Arizona State University where she promoted improved educational equity through facilitating teacher learning, professional transformation, and careful examination of people, policies, and practices in school systems.  Her research interests center around the topics of educational equity, inclusion, collaboration, teacher education and the identification of students with learning disabilities.  In particular, Jennifer is interested in exploring teacher learning for educational settings that are inclusive of all students regardless of ability, race, class, and other group membership differences.  As a National Board Certified Teacher, she mentored beginning teachers throughout the Los Angeles Unified School District and taught in higher education at California State University, Northridge (CSUN) and Clemson University.  She has worked as an Associate for the educational consulting company, 2 TEACH LLC (, for 5 years and will be using Dr. Wendy Murawski’s research and publications on co-teaching as the foundation for the workshops at this summit. 

Behavior Strand

Dr. Jeffrey SpragueDr. Jeffrey Sprague Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Special Education and Co-Director of the University of Oregon Institute on Violence and Destructive Behavior. In 2001, Dr. Sprague worked with the Oregon legislature to establish the Oregon Center for School Safety in 2002. He was a classroom teacher for seven years and a school behavioral consultant for two years. Jeff was the Director of the Center for School and Community Integration at the Indiana University Institute for the Study of Developmental Disabilities before returning to Oregon to co-direct the IVDB. He has directed federal, state and local research and demonstration projects related to whole school discipline, youth violence prevention, alternative education, juvenile delinquency prevention, school inclusion, school-to-work transition and employment, school systems change, and self advocacy. His research activities encompass applied behavior analysis, positive behavior supports, functional behavioral assessment, school safety and violence prevention, and juvenile delinquency. Jeff is a contributor to "Early Warning, Timely Response," and the "1998, 1999, and 2000 President's Annual Reports on School Safety." Most recently, he has written a white paper on school safety for Oregon Attorney General Hardy Myers' School Safety Coalition and a book on Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design for school administrators. Jeff co-authored a book on school safety with Hill Walker, and a book on School Wide PBS with Annemieke Golly.

Autism Strand

Diann Grimm Diann Grimm, MA, CCC-SLP Ms . Grimm has more than 30 years of diverse experience as a Speech-Language Pathologist and Educational Specialist in public and nonpublic schools.  In these settings, Diann provided therapy and educational services to children with all types of handicapping conditions. She has been a member of numerous multidisciplinary assessment teams and was responsible for evaluating hundreds of students with special education needs, collaborating in making diagnoses and providing educators with recommendations and strategies for positive interventions. In her 13 years with the California Department of Education, Diann developed and presented over 400 workshops to general and special education teachers, speech-language pathologists, school psychologists, administrators, paraeducators and parents on topics and issues related to special education. Diann has developed a creative, collaborative approach to help teachers and specialists integrate challenging students into general education classrooms. She also supervised graduate students and co-taught practicum courses in the Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences Department at the University of Arizona. Diann has a Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology and an Educational Specialist degree in Special Education. 

LAUSD Autism Instructional Staff  use quality indicators to support programs for students with autism regardless of where students are educated ... Students with autism may be in general education with supports or special education programs. The Autism Support Staff work with all students, teachers and assistants following the principles of structured teaching and applied behavior analyses.  This session will enable the participants to learn best practices in working with students with autism. 

Leadership Strand

Mary Ann Dewan Mary Ann Dewan, EdD   Dr. Mary Ann is the Executive Director of the Central Indiana Educational Service Center.  She previously served as the assistant superintendent in the Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township.  In that role, she was responsible for the development of an early college high school, Ben Davis University High School, and the Wayne Township Preschool which, after only 5 months of operation, was the largest licensed early childhood center in the state.  Prior to becoming assistant superintendent, Mary Ann held the positions of Director of Special Education, principal, and assistant principal having served in both the Indianapolis Public Schools and the MSD of Wayne Township.  Dr. Dewan has also been an adjunct professor at Marian College and Butler University. Dr. Dewan earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Marian College with endorsements in special education from Marian College and Butler University.  She earned a Master’s degree and educational leadership certification from Butler University and a Director of Special Education license from Ball State University.  She then went on to earn a doctoral degree and superintendent’s license from Indiana State University.  Dr. Dewan has delivered presentations for professional organizations in the areas of leadership, special education, and curriculum and instruction in Indiana and other states.

Todd Plate Esq.Todd Plate Esq. Legal Issues for Charter Leaders (2 Sessions Saturday) Todd M. Plate has broad experience helping organizations through the maze of employment and education law, including student discipline, board governance, discrimination, harassment, traditional labor matters and union organizing, and wrongful termination matters.  Mr. Plate is a litigator with extensive experience in state and federal court and has represented clients through the arbitration and administrative hearing process. As part of his counseling practice, Mr. Plate does extensive training and has created a management training program that has been successfully implemented in both public sector and non-profit organizations.  Mr. Plate received his undergraduate degree from the University of California at San Diego and his law degree from the University of California Hastings College of the Law.

Nathan CrossNathan Cross is a professional educator who has 26 years of experience as a superintendent, principal, and building-level administrator. He has extensive training and experience in collaborative decision-making, leadership team building, meeting management, and interest-based bargaining. Prior to moving into administration, he taught in the elementary school, middle school, and high school settings. Before coming to the New Teacher Center (NTC) and the School Leadership Division (SLD) he worked at the district level as the Assistant Superintendent of Student Services in a California elementary school district. Cross holds an M.A. degree in Educational Administration from San Jose State University and an M.A. degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Michigan State University. He presently is the Senior Program Director of the New Administrator Program with the New Teacher Center's School Leadership Division.  As a director he is responsible for the creation and delivery of professional development activities for educational leaders. In addition he also directs the New Administrator Coaching Program for the Santa Cruz Tri-County Area.

Parent Strand

parent.jpgMarta Anchondo, Executive Director of Team of Advocates for Special Kids (TASK) is a nonprofit charitable organization whose mission is to enable individuals with disabilities to reach their maximum potential by providing them, their families and the professionals who serve them with training, support, information, resources and referrals, and by providing community awareness programs. Initially, the primary focus was on children three to 21 years of age, but services evolved to include all ages, especially in the TASK Technology Center. TASK serves families of children aged birth to 26 years of age under IDEA and other systems mandated to provide services to individuals with disabilities. Sessions will be in Spanish and English

Technology Strand

Brokers of Expertise   (BoE) is an interactive online environment that provides educators with the ability to easily access free, high-quality resources that are matched to California State Content Standards. BoE combines a state-of-the art online system with a community of educators willing to share their knowledge to improve the preparation of California's next generation of citizens. It allows educators to create groups/communities for collaboration and participation in positive peer-cultures. Communities of Practice for Special Educators have been specifically designed for LAUSD Charter School educators.

Infinitec promotes inclusion and independence for children and adults with disabilities through assistive technology, information, training, equipment and access to specialists and resources.  To advance these goals, Infinitec Media Services creates training videos and productions to help professionals who support people with disabilities stay abreast of the latest advances. Originally developed for Illinois schools, these tools are now available for everyone who wants to learn more about the power of technology to promote school success.

Showcase Strand

Selected showcases to be announced.