In a Nutshell:
I am a higher education instructor, school leader, public speaker, and researcher with demonstrated capabilities in brain-based educational strategies and learning theory and practice. I am committed to supporting student success through Universal Design and competency-based instruction. In my work as a psychologist and school administrator I have developed and managed system-wide transformative initiatives such as PBIS, district-wide, differentiated literacy instruction, the use of language-based methodologies in the regular classroom, research-based methods for children with autism such as ABA, and anchored instruction in math and reading. I have designed and implemented several intervention programs in public school settings.
What do I do for work?
I am a District-level Student Services Director for a large school district near Boston. We provide mental and behavioral health services through a team of social workers, psychologists, and BCBAs; comprehensive school health services through a team of nurses; and special education services through a team of over 300 educators, specialists assistants and consultants. I manage a 30 million dollar operating budget, numerous federal grants, program development, professional development, program administration, community outreach, and compliance.
Previously, I was an District-level Pupil Services Director on the NH seacoast. In that capacity, I supervised the teachers, support staff, and specialists who provide services to students with a wide variety of needs. I also managed several federal grants, a large operating budget, professional development, curriculum initiatives and program administration.
I enjoy designing programs and writing grants to develop new programs. One of the grants funded a project called “Animating Understanding”. Our students enjoyed working with author Roger Essley and the Tufts Center for Engineering Education Outreach to produce stop-motion animations of various literature and science concepts. Another grant funded a district-wide Universal Design for Learning academy with the Center for Applied Special Technologies and the NH Department of Education. One of my competitive multi-year grants provided funding for our at-risk children to receive leadership training with the Browne Center at the University of New Hampshire. Other at risk students worked on designing their own public service announcements and documentaries with Media Power Youth. My hope is that we can work to empower youngsters who feel their choices are limited. My current grant is supporting the introduction of Universal Design for Learning frameworks to ten schools.
I have significant experience with program development. Several years ago, I worked with a team to design a district preschool program and I was the director of that program for 15 years. The program staff are active members of the NH Preschool Technical Assistance Network and they continue to provide programming to children with and without special needs between the ages of 2 1/2 and 5 years. They also run Childfind clinics for parents who are concerned about their child’s development, provide consultative services to local area preschools, and support parents through a wide variety of outreach efforts. I have also designed and implemented highly successful RT based programs for adolescents with emotional and behavioral disabilities, language-based programs for children with dyslexia and other language-based learning disabilities, a multi-component model program for children with autism, and a skills program for children with developmental disabilities. Currently, I am redesigning and expanding programming for students with language-based learning disabilities and I am restructuring how mental and behavioral health services are provided in our schools.
What other work do I do?
I am an award-winning university faculty member and I have been teaching at the graduate level for over 17 years. During that time I have designed and taught courses in methods for student with learning disabilities, differentiation of instruction, IEP development, technology integration, Universal Design for Learning, assessment of learning, diagnosis of reading and other learning disabilities, cognitive and social-emotional disorders, general special education and human development. I am known for my use of technology, popular media, humor, labs, and interactive digital tools in the classroom.
I really enjoy public speaking. I have been invited to present on a wide variety of topics in leadership and learning, as well as my own original research, at numerous local, national, and international conferences. I have been invited to participate on several panels and I have provided staff development for a number of school districts. Most of my staff development work focuses on learning and the brain, numerical cognition, leadership ethics, identity development, and special education. I also enjoy designing technology integration workshops.
Where did I go to school?
I earned my Bachelor’s degree in developmental psychology and sociology from the University of New Hampshire. As an undergraduate, I worked on a research team for developmental psychologist Kathleen McCartney . We studied the language development of toddlers. That work led to my first job as a project manager for a sociology research lab.
I earned my Master’s degree in learning disabilities and reading at Rivier University. I have taught children with special needs from Kindergarten through grade five. Later, I earned my Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in school psychology. For 8 years, I was a school psychologist and department head at one of the largest middle schools in New Hampshire.
I earned my doctorate in leadership and learning in 2014. My dissertation is about numerical cognition, and it is used as a standard model in the doctoral programs in leadership and learning and psychology.
What am I studying now?
I believe in life-long learning, I am very interested in how digital technologies are changing the face of education and the learning process. Currently, I am studying digital instructional design and learning about social media.
What do I like to do?
I enjoy reading, gardening, visual media, fine art, public speaking, and digital media. I am a coffee fanatic. I live in a small town near Great Bay with my wonderful son and my very naughty Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who steals my laundry…. And eats everything….Including rocks.