2019 Presenter Bios

Ed Ashworth

Ed Ashworth graduated from Central Washington University has been a high school Special Education Teacher/Case Manager for 23 years, as well as a high school football and baseball coach. He married his high school sweetheart and considers the most precious aspect of his life, his wife and three beautiful kids! “I love what I do and I do what I love!”

Ande Chapman

Ande Chapman has 30+ years in education. She started as a Family Consumer Science-CTE teacher and has spent much of her career working with at-risk students. Ande went into administration with a focus on Program Development and Postsecondary Transition for all students. She is currently an Educational Consultant & Transition Specialist. “Encourage a mind, touch a heart, inspire a soul, make a difference!”

Tammie Doyle

Tammie Doyle has over fifteen years of experience in education, and twelve years in business administration. She attended Whitworth University for both her graduate and undergraduate studies. There she earned a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree in administration. Tammie currently holds the position of Secondary Transition Manager with Washington State’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.

Rebekah Fuss

Rebekah Fuss is currently a special education teacher for the Selah School District, working in the transition program (STEP) for students aged 18-21. Over the past four years, Rebekah has worked to grow the transition program by building community partnerships, training job coaches, and curriculum planning to meet students vocational and transition needs. Her work extends beyond the STEP program as she works with the high school team as they build up their transition planning and teaching resources.

Kris Hirschmann

Kris Hirschmann is the Director for Transition Services at CCTS. She has a long history of working in the field of transition for students with disabilities. Previously, she has worked as a classroom special education teacher at the high school level and community-based transition coordinator. She has designed and delivered professional development focusing on special education law, delivery of services, and quality programming for students with special needs. In addition, Kris has taught at two local universities in the teacher preparation programs focusing on special education.

Cinda Johnson

Cinda Johnson, EdD, is a professor and director of the graduate Special Education program at Seattle University. She is a national leader in the area of transition from high school to post-high for young people with disabilities. Dr. Johnson is the Principal Investigator for the Center for Change in Transition Services. She is also the co-author of Perfect Chaos: A Daughter’s Journey with Bipolar, A Mother’s Struggle to Save Her (St. Martin’s Press, 2012).

Lew Keliher

Lew is the current CTE Director for the Auburn School District where he oversees 6th through 12th grade programs spanning middle school mechatronics and computer science to high school engineering, aerospace, JROTC and more. Lew has also been a teacher in the Career and Technical field for over 30 years in both the middle and high school levels.

Kristin Leslie

Kristin is currently the director of the Special Education Technology Center (SETC) and teaches on a wide range of AT topics at the state, local and national level. Her role at SETC involves providing leadership, professional development, and consultation for school districts throughout the state of Washington. She has a particular interest in assisting districts in implementing UDL principles, as well as establishing consistent AT processes to assure that all special education students have access to necessary accommodations to fully engage in curricular activities.

Betty Lopez

Betty Lopez is currently serving as the executive director of special education services for Selah School District. Professionally trained as a school psychologist, Betty has worked in special education for the last eleven years. She is passionate about serving students with disabilities by providing a range of services that meet their unique needs.

Elaine Marcinek

Elaine Marcinek is the Director of Finance of Operations at CCTS. She attended the University of Washington where she obtained her bachelor’s degree in business. She also holds an MBA and has spent the majority of her career in proprietary education, with opportunities to work in financial aid, operations, and as a Campus Director. Her passions include sailing, spending time with her family and being creative in the kitchen.

Tania May

Tania May is the OSPI Director of Special Education. Her work is focused on collaborating with schools, community partners, families, and students in support of improved outcomes for students with disabilities. Tania has twenty years of special education experience at the school, district, and state levels in California and Washington. Her previous positions have included elementary inclusive practices, high school co-teaching, English-language development for students with disabilities, and behavior supports in non-public agencies.

Michele Mulhern

Michele has over twelve years of experience in counseling, policy development, and program management within the field of vocational rehabilitation. Currently, she is a Regional Transition Consultant for DSHS, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. A graduate of Washington State University, Ms. Mulhern obtained her master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling from Southern University and A&M College. She holds a CRC from the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification and a Work Incentives Practitioner credential from Cornell University.

Norris Narsa

Norris Narsa is a successful instructor, speaker, and people-development professional with a desire to inspire individuals to reach their personal and professional goals. Norris earned his master’s degree from the department of Communication, Media and Theatre at Northeastern Illinois University. His professional journey began as a K-12 Teacher then later transitioned to higher education. Since then, he served as a University Advisor, Campus Recruiter, Student Development and Student Affairs Manager. Norris is new to Washington and is really proud of the organization he represents. Open Doors for Multicultural families is an agency that serves individuals with disabilities–specifically those who speak English as a second language. He is the Transition Lead, where he continues to apply and integrate teamwork into individual growth and development.

Terry Redmon

Terry Redmon presently works as the Developmental Disabilities Administration Employment Partnership Program Manager. The main focus of his work at DDA is High School Transition and helping to create a statewide system that gives transitioning students with IDD/DD more options with regards to employment after school. He has over 30 years of experience working with individuals with disabilities towards integrated employment. He has a BA in Economics and a MBA.

Dianne Sabat

Dianne is the Research and Data Analyst at CCTS. She is an occupational therapist by background, having worked with children with disabilities throughout her career. She received her doctorate from Boston University and completed a post-doctorate at the University of Washington. Her research has focused on children and adults with disabilities, including rehabilitation gaming, accessibility of research, and access to healthcare.

Jay Shepherd

As Marketing and Communication Specialist with CCTS, Jay values the opportunity to learn from and support educators and administrators throughout Washington. She has a strong commitment to accessibility and inclusion in her work, which spans over 15 years in the arts and nonprofit sectors. Previous experiences include: Marketing Director, Theater at Monmouth; Outreach Programs Coordinator, Oregon Shakespeare Festival; and Education Associate, Orlando Shakespeare Theater. Jay holds an MS in arts management, GradCert in nonprofit administration, and a BA in elementary education.

Carrie Stokes

Carrie Stokes’ educational career expands over 40+ years. She began as a para-educator and went on to become a Speech Language Pathologist, Special Education Teacher, and a Special Education Director with North Central Educational Service District. Currently in Okanogan School District, Carrie is the Director of Special Services and Federal Programs. Carrie is passionate about supporting staff and doing what is best for students.

Brendon Taga

Brendon Taga, PhD, JD, is an associate dean for academic and student affairs at the College of Education at Seattle University. Dr. Taga research addresses issues at the intersection of disability, education, and the law. An attorney, he received his JD, cum laude, from Seattle University School of Law, where he was a Fellow for the Center for Global Justice and awarded the Faculty Scholar award upon graduation.