Introducing This Year’s Keynote Speaker
Eric P. Hartwig, Ph.D. received his doctorate in Educational Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a M.S. in School Psychology and a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. He is experienced and licensed as a Director of Pupil Services, District Administrator and a School Psychologist/Private Practice ®. After 44 years of service, he retired as an Administrator of Pupil Services for the Marathon County Children with Disabilities Education Board.
Introducing Our Bonus Special Guest!
Jody Fuller is a comedian, speaker, writer, and soldier with three tours of duty in Iraq. Between the Regular Army, Alabama National Guard, and U.S. Army Reserves, Jody served for almost 25 years. In 2017, Major Fuller finally hung up the boots for good.
Jody is also a lifetime stutterer.
He performs for a wide range of audiences from churches to conferences and conventions to troops at home and abroad. To date, he has performed in 31 states and 14 countries.
CALT, Reading Specialist for Special Ed, Fayetteville Public Schools
Jacquelyn Scalf has been teaching for 15 years with a combination of experience in grades K-12. She currently serves as a Certified Language Academic Therapist (CALT) and a reading specialist for Fayetteville Public Schools. There, she trains and coaches special education teachers in the science of reading. Jacquelyn has been trained in Take Flight, Alphabetic Phonics and LETRS. Jacquelyn also provides Dyslexia therapy services for students in Northwest Arkansas.
BCBA, Autism/Behavior Specialist, Fayetteville Public Schools
Mindy Duell is a BCBA working in the Fayetteville Public Schools. She has 15 years of teaching experience prior to working as a Autism and Behavior Specialist for the public schools. She works closely with teachers to support students from diverse backgrounds and abilities.
Special Education Supervisor, Clinton School District
Deborah Swink has 39 years experience in public school education including 15 years teaching in special education classrooms and 24 years of special education administration in Arkansas. Swink currently works as the LEA supervisor for three school districts in Van Buren County, Arkansas and oversees all aspects of the special education programs and school-based mental health programs in the districts. Swink serves as Co-Chair of the Arkansas Mental Health in Education (ARMEA) organization, is a member of Yale University-The School of the 21st Century Leadership Council, and is Chair of the Advisory Council for the Education of Students with Disabilities.
Special Education Teacher, South Side High School
Melanie Crider teaches special education at South Side high School in Bee Branch. She has been a certified teacher for ten years which evolved from experience as a paraprofessional. Melanie teaches resource classes and transition which includes Opportunity for Work-based Learning (OWL).
Autism & Behavioral Specialist, Above All Else, Inc.
A former special education teacher and mom of 5, Brandi has been around the block more than a few times. Her experiences with foster children, Autism and birth trauma is unparrelled due to her dual role of both educator and parent. She not only has the knowledge but lives it. She is the owner of Above All Else, Inc. and resides in Greenbrier.
Faulken Services and Training LLC
Kris is the all-american guy! He provides training, consulting and a variety of things through Faulken Services and Training LLC based in Greenbrier, AR. He has 5 children, one of whom has severe autism. Kris was certified as a PCM Instructor over 6 years ago and at that time was the only parent of a special needs child in the world that was a trained instructor. Now, he has a team of instructors whom all have children on the spectrum. Kris and his team have more people trained in Arkansas than any other state in the US. Kris does training not only in Arkansas but in other states as well. He "gets it' from every angle and those who go participate in anything he does will be encouraged, challenged and leave with a sense of "I can"!! Kris also has a podcast called #BetterTogether as well as 2 books, We Win: A Fathers Journey Through Autism and Myracles and Second Chances!
Public School Program Advisor, Arkansas Department of Education - Special Education Unit
Angel Eddleman is currently in her 20th year as an educator. In that time she has taught general education classes for elementary and middle school; preschool for both an ABC and CHMS programs; special education resource and self-contained classes; higher education courses; and earned her endorsement to work with English Learners. The current special education forms were piloted and used by her previous district prior to her transition from being a classroom teacher to working with the Arkansas Department of Education. It is that experience that she brings with her to help guide others through the IEP process.
University Professor, University of Arkansas
Dr. Smith is currently University Professor at the University of Arkansas. He has authored or co-authored 32 textbooks and conducted more than 100 workshops on Section 504.
Director of Special Services, Harrison School District
Brigid Bright has worked in education since 2002 and in the Harrison School District since 2004. Mrs. Bright taught special education for seven years, gaining experience in both elementary and secondary levels. Mrs. Bright takes an active role in special education leadership on the state and national levels. Brigid Bright is the current president of the Arkansas Association of Special Education Administrators, Policy/Legislative Chair of AR Council of Administrators of Special Education (CASE), and member of CASE’s National Policy/Legislative Committee. Mrs. Bright also served on the Arkansas Department of Education Paperwork Reduction Task Force.
Due Process Data Specialist, Harrison School District
Co-Presenter with Brigid Bright
Aspiring Special Education Administrators
Amber Likes has been working in education since 2006. She has been a Special Education Teacher for 10 years with experience in mid-level and secondary resource, self-contained, and life skills. Amber is currently serving as a Due Process Data Specialist for the Harrison School District. Amber received a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Teaching in 2006 from Arkansas State University. In 2010, Amber graduated with a Masters Degree in Special Education from Arkansas State University. Amber will graduate in August with an Educational Specialist Degree in Special Educational Leadership.
Occupational Therapist and Assistive Technology Specialist, Easterseals Arkansas Outreach Program and Technology Services
Amy Goddard, MS, OTR/L, received her degree from East Carolina University and is registered by the National Board of Certification for Occupational Therapy and licensed by the Arkansas State Medical Board. Before her position as occupational therapy consultant and assistive technology specialist for Easterseals Outreach, Amy worked in the rehabilitation and school settings providing occupational therapy services. She has presented on assistive technology, sensory integration, feeding/swallowing, apraxia, autism, and traumatic brain injury. She was appointed by Governor Beebe to serve on the Traumatic Brain Injury Task Force and, in 2016, by Governor Hutchinson to serve on the Governor’s Commission on People with Disabilities and is serving as treasurer on the executive board.
Special Education Consultant, Easterseals Arkansas Outreach Program and Technology Services
Laura McCammon, M.S.E. is a Special Education Consultant at Easterseals Outreach. She earned her B.S. in education from the University of Central Arkansas and her M.S.E. from Arkansas State University. She began teaching kindergarten before teaching special education to young learners. Laura has an interest in assistive technology to support literacy and writing in struggling students. She is currently working on pursuing a literacy specialist and Dyslexia certification. Laura has presented at the regional and state level.
Director of Special Services, Fayetteville Public Schools
Carla Curtis is the Director of Special Services for Fayetteville Public Schools. She has been in the field of special education for 28 years and has served as a special education administrator for 22 years. Carla is the current AASEA Area 1 Representative and has also served in the roles of Secretary, Public Relations, Vice-President, President and Area 2 Representative. She is the Past-President for the Arkansas CASE organization and serves currently as Secretary. Carla also serves on the Teaming for Transition Task Force with the University of Arkansas.
Special Services Administrative Assistant and Data Manager, Fayetteville Public Schools
Angela Carney is an Administrative Assistant for the Special Services Department of Fayetteville Public Schools. She has worked in public education for 21 years and special education for 14 years. She currently manages the SEAS and eSchool data base for the special services program and provides professional development training on SEAS and special education paperwork process annually.
Licensed Therapist/Community Outreach Specialist, Ozark Guidance
Kristin Walker, MS, LAC, serves as Mental Health Therapist and Community Outreach Specialist for Ozark Guidance. She originates from Dallas, TX with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Marriage and Family Therapy with an emphasis in Play Therapy. Kristin has worked with children, adolescents, individuals, couples, and families with various presenting difficulties including anxiety, depression, grief, trauma recovery, abuse recovery, relationship difficulties, behavioral struggles, and attachment difficulties. She has been trained in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy which provides a structured approach to trauma-informed practices, as well as received specialized training in the areas of trauma recovery. She also enjoys working with groups and training other professionals, educators, and community members on topics such as trauma-informed care and the brain in relation to behavior. Kristin has a desire to see people live life unhindered-to walk alongside them as they journey through life's places of joy and pain.
Early Childhood Special Education Coordinator, Arkansas Department of Education
Wendy Pascoe graduated with a Masters degree in Special Education, Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education in 2002. She arrived in Arkansas in 2016 after living and working in Japan for almost 4 years. She has worked with students with delays and disability, ages birth to 22, for more than 15 years.
Staff Attorney, Arkansas Public School Resource Center
Tripp Walter currently serves as a Staff Attorney for the Arkansas Public School Resource Center, where he has worked since May, 2010. Prior to holding this position, Mr. Walter worked for the Arkansas Department of Education for over six years as a Staff Attorney and Interim General Counsel. Before moving to Arkansas, he worked as a university attorney, municipal attorney and municipal judge in Texas for 18 years. He holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Houston, and a J.D. from Texas Tech University. He is licensed to practice law in Arkansas and Texas.
Staff Attorney, Arkansas Public School Resource Center
Before joining the legal team at APSRC, Jennifer Wells discovered a love for school law while aiding members of the Arkansas State Teachers Association while practicing and managing her own firm, Wells Law Firm, PLLC. Her past practice areas have focused on complex federal multi-district litigation, international law, crises management, and insurance defense trial work. She has contributed to American Bar Association publications on Antitrust Law, lectured on the Economics of Antitrust Law at National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan, and developed curriculum for law school programs domestically and abroad. She served as a the Janet D. Steiger Antitrust Fellow for Arkansas in 2008, prior to becoming an associate attorney at Roberts Law Firm, P.A., where, in addition to being a trial attorney for several high-profile cases, she represented various technology and medical device companies, aided in multi-national infrastructure policy development, and worked closely with with various policy stakeholders in developing economic interests of local business. As the first civil Judicial Law Clerk for the 20th Judicial Circuit of Arkansas, Ms. Wells aided five judges in hearing civil, criminal and juvenile cases, conducting trials and impaneling juries in three counties.
Director of Special Education Services, Arkansas Public School Resource Center
Jeryca is currently the director of special education services for the Arkansas Public School Resource Center. She provides special education resources and consult to charter schools in Arkansas. Before joining APSRC, she worked as the Intermediate 1 teacher at ACCESS, a private school in Little Rock for children with special needs. She also taught in the Greenbrier School District as an inclusion and resource teacher. Jeryca is a published author of a book called “Flying Lessons,” which she hopes to one day turn into a series of books. She has a passion for working with students with special needs and their teachers. She has been a coach/volunteer for Special Olympics for 10 years. She is a former board member of the AR CEC and has presented in 2015 and 2016.
Arkansas Medicaid Program Specialist/Field Auditor, SEAS Education
Tanja Rose is the Medicaid Program Specialist/Field Auditor for the state of Arkansas. She works closely with school district Medicaid coordinators and SEAS account managers to help maximize your Medicaid funding. She provides training to school districts Medicaid Coordinators as well as direct service providers. Tanja will provide assist in finding a resolution to Medicaid questions that may arise in school districts. Also, she conducts onsite visits to school districts to help maintain Medicaid compliance and up to date training. Tanja has seven years experience in the Special Education field.
Dr. Kim Davis
Kim is a recent graduate in Transformational Leadership from Concordia University-Portland. Her research was in Organization Development, specifically a method called Appreciative Inquiry (AI) where she identified a pivotal point in motivation she termed the Paradigm Fulcrum. She is a certified AI Facilitator and a certified Transformative Emotional Intelligence (TEI) coach. Her continued research interests include the relationship of TEI and motivation for personal and professional success.
Dr. Rick Hammett
Rick Hammett joined his education mentors, Drs. Gary Low and Darwin Nelson, in their life’s work of developing models of emotional intelligence after serving 28 years in the U.S. Navy. He now supports doctoral student research efforts in Walden University’s Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership, where he is course lead for Tools for Doctoral Research Success and serves on research committees. Rick is also a principal with Emotional Intelligence Learning Systems, founding faculty member of the Emotional Intelligence Research Institute (EITRI), and a member of the International Forum for Emotional Intelligence Learning in India. He is the executive editor of EITRI’s International Journal for Transformative Emotional Intelligence. His research interests include psychometry and the measure of latent constructs related to emotional intelligence, and he enjoys collaborating with good colleagues on initiatives related to transformative models of emotional intelligence.
Dale Bailey, Ph.D.
Fluency Plus, LLC
Dale Bailey, Ph.D. is a native of the Mississippi Delta and has been a practicing school psychologist for over three decades. In addition to assisting numerous school districts with developing and implementing intervention programs for behaviorally and emotionally at-risk youth, Dale and his colleagues are also actively involved with assisting school districts currently involved with federal or state litigation as the result of IDEA noncompliance related to FAPE denial and/or disproportionality in discipline practices among children and youth with disabilities.
William Swindol, M.Ed.
Fluency Plus, LLC
William Emile Swindol, M.Ed. is an educational consultant and interventionist providing professional consultation regarding Response to Intervention (RTI) and compliance with state and federal regulations regarding special education programming for students with disabilities. Mr. Swindol has been involved in the development and implementation of individual behavioral and academic interventions in support of students in schools across Mississippi. He routinely advises RTI/MTSS and SW-PBIS Teams, supervises academic and behavioral intervention activities and provides training on educational best practices.
Public School Program Advisor for the Arkansas Department of Education
Tabitha Riendeau is a Public School Program Advisor for the Arkansas Department of Education. Beginning her career in Maine as a paraprofessional, Tabitha has experience working with all ages of students with disabilities, primarily focusing on students with moderate to severe cognitive disabilities, behavior challenges, and mental health disorders. Before leaving Maine, she ran a 9th-12th grade public school day treatment program for 4 years.
Arkansas Department of Education Special Education Unit
Danita Pitts is an Arkansas educator who holds a master’s degree in education and is a National Board Certified Teacher. Her experiences include directing an ABC Preschool, working as an Early Childhood Special Education Teacher for Southeast Arkansas Educational Service Cooperative and Arch Ford Educational Service Cooperative, serving as a teacher and instructional specialist for Cabot Public Schools (grades 2-8), and serving as an Early Intervention developmental therapist for children in need of services from birth to three years of age. Mrs. Pitts currently works for the Arkansas Department of Education Special Education Unit.
Dara Nix has served as Arkansas’ 619 Coordinator for the last two years. She coordinates IDEA early childhood special education initiatives relative to child outcomes, EC environments, and transition from EI. She represents early childhood special education on several state committees and serves as the Central Representative of the National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE) 619 Affinity Group. Dara has devoted 25 years to working with young children and their families in educational settings. She has served as a teacher at various grade levels, an Instructional Specialist, and an elementary school principal. Dara is also the proud parent of 2 beautiful children, one of whom is attending Oklahoma State University. Raising 4H and FFA animals brings joy to the entire family.
Mountain Home Public Schools
Jill Czanstkowski has worked in special education since 1998 in Mountain Home Public Schools. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Speech Pathology from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. Mrs. Czanstkowski continued her education at Arkansas State University by earning a Master of Science degree as a PK-4 and 4-12 Instructional Specialist as well as Curriculum/Program Administration certification in special education with a Building Level Administration certification. Mrs. Czanstkowski taught special education for 14 years, gaining experience in both elementary and secondary levels.
Mrs. Czanstkowski currently serves as Special Education Director 6- 12th grade for Mountain Home Public Schools. She serves as the Membership/Public Relations Chair of AR Council of Administrators of Special Education (CASE).