Southeast Comprehensive Center

Previous Work — October 2005 to September 2012

These resources were published under a previous SECC contract; therefore, information contained therein may have changed and is not updated.

Regional Events AND FORUMS

Response to Intervention Summit on
Funding Models


Presenter Information

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Millicent Bentley-Memon

Millie Bentley-Memon, PhD, is an education program specialist with the Title III State Consolidated Grant Group, Student Achievement and School Accountability Programs, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, U.S. Department of Education (ED). For more than 10 years, Dr. Bentley-Memon has worked with programs at the ED that serve English language learners. During this time, she has been responsible for providing technical assistance to and monitoring of states, overseeing grants to universities, districts, and schools, and drafting policy guidance. Prior to joining ED, she was a program associate for K–16 at the University System of Maryland and director of the English Language Institute for international students at the College of Notre Dame. A former educator, Dr. Bentley- Memon taught English as a second and foreign language to all ages, from children to adults, for more than 10 years in the United States, Japan, and Egypt. She has taught in many settings, from a refugee center for African and Eastern European refugees to Sony Corporation and has also taught graduate courses in linguistics. Dr. Bentley-Memon earned her master’s degree in teaching English from the American University in Cairo, Egypt, and her PhD in education policy from the University of Maryland.

Darlene Morgan Brown

In her current role as a program associate in the Improving School Performance program of the Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) at SEDL, Darlene Morgan Brown, PhD, serves as liaison for the state of Louisiana. As a mother and former educator in the Louisiana public school system, her mission is to contribute to the creation of an excellent and equitable public education system for all students. Prior to joining SEDL, Dr. Brown served as the director of the Capital One/University of New Orleans (UNO) Charter School Network and as an assistant professor of professional practice in the College of Education, Educational Leadership and Counseling Department at UNO. She has more than 10 years of school improvement experience, working with more than 50 schools and 20 school districts at the local, regional, state, and national levels. Dr. Brown retired in May 2008, with 25 years of experience and a background in both general and special education. Her areas of expertise include instructional leadership, school improvement and restructuring, professional development, group dynamics, inquiry-based instruction, and data-driven differentiated instruction. Dr. Brown received her bachelor's degree as a speech, language, and hearing specialist from Northeast Louisiana University, currently operating as the University of Louisiana at Monroe. She earned her master's degree in educational administration and doctor of philosophy degree from UNO.

Glenda Copeland

Glenda Copeland, MA, is a program associate with SEDL’s Improving School Performance program. Ms. Copeland oversees the planning and delivery of technical assistance and professional development in Georgia and assists in providing similar services to other states that SECC serves. In her previous work with SEDL, she was a member of the Regional Laboratory Network Program (which developed Facilitating Systemic Change in Science and Mathematics Education: A Tool Kit for Professional Developers and A Tool Kit for Professional Developers: Alternative Assessment) and a member of both the Eisenhower Mathematics and Science Consortia as well as the National Model Professional Development Award Program, helping to plan the selection process and manage the site visit process for the U.S. Department of Education (ED). Ms. Copeland also led the development and production of Flashlight and Compass: A Collection of Tools to Promote Instructional Coherence for SEDL’s Promoting Instructional Coherence (PIC) project. As project director of a national comprehensive middle and high school improvement program, she focused on leadership development and building collaborative relationships. Prior to joining SEDL in 1992, Ms. Copeland coordinated district gifted programs in social studies, language arts, and mathematics for the Austin Independent School District (AISD) in Austin, Texas, and was a classroom teacher (K-12) for 12 years. Her degrees are in secondary education, mental retardation, and gifted education.

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Joy Eichelberger

Dr. Joy Eichelberger is Pennsylvania's state lead for Response to Intervention and director of intervention services (statewide professional development and school-based technical assistance) services at the Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network. Dr. Eichelberger provides consultant services in the areas of leadership, effective instruction and data based decision making. In addition, she has been a teacher, building administrator, and director of special education for two urban districts, specializing in developing programs to ensure seamless service delivery for all students in a unified system. At the Maryland State Department of Education, Dr. Eichelberger worked with school districts to ensure the availability of free and appropriate educational services for all students. As project director for Project FORUM at the National Association of State Directors of Special Education, she commissioned a policy study on research to practice. Currently Dr. Eichelberger is affiliated with the Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network in Harrisburg.

Robin Jarvis

Robin Jarvis, PhD, is program manager of SEDL’s Improving School Performance program. She oversees the work of SEDL’s Metairie, Louisiana, office and serves as the director of the SECC. Prior to coming to SEDL, Dr. Jarvis served as the acting superintendent of the Recovery School District in New Orleans. Previous positions with the LDE include program manager with the Distinguished Educator Program; director of the Division of Professional Development; director of the Division of School Standards, Accountability, and Assistance; and assistant superintendent of the Office of Student and School Performance. In these roles, Dr. Jarvis worked with accountability, curriculum, assessment, and special education issues in Louisiana and served as state director for various federal programs, including Titles I, II, and V, as well as Reading First. She has 13 years’ experience in K-12 public education as an elementary school principal and as a K-3 classroom teacher in East Baton Rouge Parish. Dr. Jarvis holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in elementary education with a focus in early childhood education. She received her PhD in educational leadership and research with a research emphasis on school effectiveness and school improvement in 1998.

Sandra R. Lindsay

Sandra Lindsay, EdD, is currently serving as a clinical professor in the Education Leadership and Policies Department of the College of Education at the University of South Carolina. From 1999-2004, Dr. Lindsay served as the deputy state superintendent for curriculum services and assessment at the South Carolina Department of Education. At the local school district level, she served for 27 years in leadership roles in Dorchester School District Two, including assistant superintendent for instruction for 16 years. Dr. Lindsay has assumed numerous statewide leadership roles including the presidency of both the South Carolina Association of School Superintendents and the South Carolina Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Teaching about leadership and helping leaders improve their skills and knowledge are ongoing commitments for Dr. Lindsay. She has received numerous awards and honors for her work with public schools and has served at the national level as president of the Deputies Leadership Commission of the Council of Chief State School Officers. Dr. Lindsay has a doctorate in education in curriculum and instruction from the University of South Carolina, a master's degree in education from The Citadel, and a bachelor's degree in history from Winthrop College.

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Erin Lolich

Erin Lolich, MS, is the director of the Oregon Response to Intervention (OrRtI) Project. The OrRtI Project is a partnership between the Oregon Department of Education and Tigard- Tualatin School District. The project began in 2005 and currently serves 29 school districts throughout the state. As members of the OrRtI Project, districts receive professional development and technical assistance to build and sustain their RtI systems. Prior to her work on the OrRtI Project, Ms. Lolich taught special education and worked as a literacy specialist. She is passionate about providing exemplary instruction to underserved and underrepresented students and has taught in settings from Italy to India. Ms. Lolich received her BEd in special education and elementary education from Gonzaga University. She received her MS in educational administration from Portland State University.

Jack Lumbley

Jack Lumbley is a program associate with SEDL's Research and Evaluation (R&E) program. He is responsible for formative and summative evaluation of SEDL's programmatic activities. Mr. Lumbley joined SEDL in 1975 as a senior evaluation specialist for the Divisions of Evaluation, Field Services and Dissemination, and Educational Services.

Mary Lou Meadows

Mary Lou Meadows, EdD, is a program associate with SEDL’s Improving School Performance program. Dr. Meadows oversees the planning and delivery of technical assistance and professional development in Alabama and assists in providing similar services to other states that the SECC serves. Prior to her work with the SECC, she provided similar services to the Center while working for SEDL's SECAC project from 2002-2006. Before joining SEDL, she retired from the University of North Alabama (UNA) in Florence with 34 years in the field of education. Dr. Meadows has taught grades K-5 as well as college courses at UNA and Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro. She also served as the associate director of the Education Research and Inservice Center at UNA. Dr. Meadows holds a master’s degree in elementary and early childhood from UNA and a doctorate in elementary and early childhood from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

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Debra Meibaum

Debra Meibaum, MA, is a program associate with SEDL’s Improving School Performance program. Ms. Meibaum oversees the planning and delivery of technical assistance and professional development in Mississippi and assists in providing similar services to other states served by the SECC. Her specialty area is NCLB. Prior to joining SEDL in 1996, Ms. Meibaum worked at the MDE for 13 years—10 years in desegregation and bilingual education/ESL programs and 3 years in special education/speech pathology. She also worked for 7.5 years in the public school systems of Mississippi and Louisiana. Ms. Meibaum has a master's degree in speech pathology from Tulane University of New Orleans, Louisiana, and a bachelor's degree in elementary education and speech correction from Southeastern Louisiana University. She also has earned Mississippi certification in elementary administration and special subject supervisor.

Ada Muoneke

Ada Muoneke, PhD, is a program associate with SEDL's Improving School Performance program. Prior to joining SEDL in 2006, Dr. Muoneke served as a program specialist in the Student Assessment Division of the Texas Education Agency where she conducted work in the test development process for state mandated tests. As a senior field trainer analyst at The University of Texas at Austin, she managed federally funded projects designed to infuse scientifically based research in reading instruction for higher education faculty. Dr. Muoneke led the design of research-based professional development seminars as well as provided technical assistance to faculty in over 40 institutions of higher education across the country. She also served as an adjunct Assistant lecturer in the College of Education at The University of Texas at Austin, Texas State University, and Southwestern University. She taught courses for preservice teachers in their professional development sequence as well as coordinated their student-teaching field experiences. Dr. Muoneke served as a research associate and consultant on reading projects at The University of Texas at Austin. She also has held several positions as a general and special educator in various school districts, including reading program supervisor, curriculum specialist, and admission, review, & dismissal coordinator. Through her various work, Dr. Muoneke has coauthored reports, professional development manuals, and publications in reading and math for educators who teach students with learning problems. She holds a BS in secondary education from Oklahoma State University, and an MEd and a PhD in special education from The University of Texas at Austin.

Margarita (Maggie) Rivas

Maggie Rivas, MA, is a program associate with SEDL's Southeast Comprehensive Center Improving School Performance program. Ms. Rivas provides technical assistance, training and resources, and ongoing support to state education agencies (SEAs) in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina. Through this work, she helps SEAs to assist school district level staff with identifying, selecting, and using scientifically-based research regarding what works in instruction for pre-school, elementary, middle, and high school students, particularly ELL populations. Ms. Rivas also conducts training to address family and community involvement issues, with an emphasis on outreach to diverse families. During her career at SEDL, Ms. Rivas has worked with the Multifunctional Resource Center and as a senior trainer for the Follow Through Program. Prior to joining SEDL in 1975, Ms. Rivas was a bilingual teacher in the Edgewood schools; taught fourth grade in a corporate-run school in Tia Juana, Venezuela; and taught elementary classes in Brownsville and Los Fresnos, Texas. Ms. Rivas has a bachelor's degree in elementary education and sociology from Texas Women’s University and a master's degree in early childhood education from the University of Texas at San Antonio.

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Tessie Rose

Dr. Tessie Rose joined the American Institutes for Research (AIR) in 2008. For the National Center on Response to Intervention, she serves as a technical assistance liaison for the Southeast region and task leader for technical assistance documentation and evaluation. Prior to joining AIR, Dr. Rose served as a special education teacher in one of Utah's first RtI schools, an educational consultant for several large school districts, and a project coordinator for several grant and contract projects, including model demonstration sites in progress monitoring and response to intervention in elementary and middle schools. She is a former assistant professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and has conducted introductory to advanced trainings in RtI related topics (e.g., progress monitoring, data based-decision making, universal screening, implementation, AIMSweb/DIBELS) for teachers, school administrators, and state officials in nearly 35 states. Dr. Rose presents all over the country and has authored several publications, including "How to Conduct Spelling and Writing Curriculum-Based Measurement" in Hosp, Hosp, and Howell’s The ABCs of CBM: A Practical Guide to Curriculum-Based Measurement.

Ruth Ryder

Ruth Ryder is the director of the Division of Monitoring and State Improvement Planning in the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), U.S. Department of Education. This division has responsibility for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act formula grant programs Part B, 619 and Part C, as well as the Regional Resource and Federal Centers. Ms. Ryder has been with OSEP since 1988, all 20 years with the formula grant division. She has been the division director since 1995 and in that time has provided national leadership in moving special education accountability to a more results-oriented process. Prior to joining OSEP, Ms. Ryder was a program administrator for a school district in Washington State with responsibility for an OSERS funded special education demonstration project examining integrated service delivery models for including children with disabilities in general education. She also administered the ESEA Title I and Title II programs, state- remediation, gifted education, outcome-based education, and state-and district-wide testing programs—it was a small district. Ms. Ryder also has been a special education consulting teacher and a general education classroom teacher.

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Kathleen Theodore

Kathleen Theodore, MA, is a program associate with SEDL's Improving School Performance program. Her major responsibilities include working with the SECC to build the capacity of state departments of education in implementing NCLB through professional development and technical assistance in reading. Prior to joining SEDL, Ms. Theodore worked for the Louisiana Department of Education's Region I Education Service Center, where she coordinated regional and statewide Reading First professional development activities and provided extensive follow-up through mentoring and coaching. She also worked in the New Orleans Public Schools for 24 years, where she served in various roles, including classroom teacher, staff developer, and district reading facilitator. In her role as a district reading facilitator, she provided professional development, coaching, and mentoring to elementary school teachers. Ms. Theodore holds a master's degree in curriculum and instruction from Xavier University of New Orleans.

William David Tilly III

Dr. William David Tilly currently serves as director of innovation and accountability for Heartland Area Education Agency (AEA) 11. Heartland serves 54 public school districts and 36 accredited nonpublic schools in central Iowa. Prior to joining Heartland AEA, Dr. Tilly was a consultant for assessment, research and innovation at the Iowa Department of Education. In that role, he worked statewide to implement changes in the educational system throughout Iowa. Of particular note was his work with Iowa’s Renewed Service Delivery System (RSDS). RSDS foundationally changed the way that special education is conceptualized and delivered in Iowa. He was a part of the inception of that change and has worked at many levels of the system throughout the change process. RSDS practices and procedures are the same ones being advocated nationally as components of an RtI approach to services. Dr. Tilly is a school psychologist by training. He has worked as a practicing psychologist, a University trainer at Iowa State University, a state department of education consultant and an administrator. He works regularly with states, school districts, federal offices and national organizations on improving educational results for all children. He is the 2006 recipient of the Martha Fields Award of Excellence from the National Association of State Directors of Special Education. He also is the author or coauthor of 34 published journal articles, book chapters or books, which focus mostly on education innovation, systems change and improving educational results.

Susan Wilhelm

Susan Wilhelm has worked in the Title I program office of the ED for 9 years. Her most recent position is group leader for the policy coordination team in the Student Achievement and School Accountability Programs (SASA) office. She is responsible for overseeing the development and dissemination of policy guidance related to the implementation of Title I of the ESEA as amended by the NCLB.

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Haidee Williams

Haidee Williams, MS, is a project director in SEDL’s Improving School Performance program. Prior to joining SEDL, Ms. Williams worked for the Region XIII Education Service Center in Texas, where she provided professional development services to address the needs of science education for grades PreK-12. She also has worked as a curriculum coordinator and classroom teacher at Channelview Independent School District in Channelview, Texas. Ms. Williams has bachelor’s degrees in health and physical education from Lamar University and in biology from the University of Houston. She also has a master’s degree in science curriculum and instruction from the University of Houston.

Darren Woodruff

Darren Woodruff, PhD, is a principal research analyst at the AIR and is codirector of the National Center on Response to Intervention. Dr. Woodruff has a PhD in educational psychology from Howard University and works in a variety of research and technical assistance capacities on issues of school improvement, student support, and disproportionality in special education. Prior to joining AIR, Dr. Woodruff was an associate research scientist at the Yale Child Study Center, working on school reform initiatives with the Comer School Development Program. He was a contributing author for the Harvard Civil Rights Project report, Racial Inequity in Special Education, and has also written and presented extensively on supports for students placed at risk and culturally and linguistically competent practices in education. In addition, Dr. Woodruff has taught and counseled students at the elementary through college levels.

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