National Urban Special Education Leadership Initiative

An education Doctoral Program for Urban Leadership in Special Education

Advisory Board

2015 | 2012 | 2006

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Dr. Bill East

Bill East, Ed.D. is the Executive Director for the National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE), a membership organization representing states and federal jurisdictions responsible for implementing the IDEA. Dr. East provides leadership for the Alexandria, Virginia based organization that focuses on partnerships for assisting states to improve outcomes for students with disabilities. Dr. East career includes work as a high school teacher/coach, administrator in a state mental health facility, adjunct professor in higher education, and several roles within the Alabama Department of Education. He has worked on special education policy issues for years as Alabama's state director of special education and in his current role at NASDSE. Dr. East is the principal investigator for the IDEA Partnership and co-principal investigator for the Center on Online Learning and Students with Disabilities, two OSEP-funded centers. Additionally, he has key roles in the National Center for Systemic Improvement. He has a strong interest and commitment for promoting communities of practice, response to intervention, teacher/administrator quality and programs in transition and low incidence disabilities. (-)

Dr. Barbara Jenkins

A 25-year educator, Dr. Barbara Jenkins currently serves as District Superintendent for Orange County Public Schools in Orlando, Florida. As an executive cabinet member of a large urban district with over 21,000 staff members serving 179,000 students she serves as the Superintendent's designee, supervises five area superintendents and oversees the division of Teaching and Learning. Previously as chief of staff, she oversaw Human Resources, Public Relations, Labor Relations, Strategic Planning, and served as the chief labor negotiator for the district. While chief of staff, she also coordinated executive functions for the district and provided direct support to the school board. From 1998-2005 she was the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources for the 120,000 student district, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she was responsible for Employee Relations, Licensure, Benefits, Information Systems, Compensation and Employment. During her time in Charlotte, she was recognized in Urban School Reform: Lessons from San Diego (Harvard Education Press, 2005) for innovative strategies to increase equity among schools. Dr. Jenkins previously served as Senior Director for Elementary Education in Orange County, supervising principals and schools. She has also been a classroom teacher, staff developer and principal. Her undergraduate and doctor of education degrees were received from the University of Central Florida. She is a fellow of the Broad Superintendents Academy. (-)

Dr. Elizabeth Kozleski

Professor Elizabeth B. Kozleski, Chair of Special Education at the University of Kansas, engages systems change and research on equity and justice issues in inclusive education and professional learning. Recent awards include the UNESCO Chair in Inclusive International Research in 2005, the TED-Merrill award for leadership in special education teacher education in 2011, and the Scholar of the Century award from the University of Northern Colorado in 2013. She is the recipient of more than $30 million in federal and local research grants.

Her research interests include the analysis of systems change in education, how teachers learn in practice in complex, diverse school settings, as well how educational practices improve student learning. She has senior leadership roles on four projects: SWIFT, CEEDAR, Emergent Literacy Curriculum for Students with Intellectual Disabilities in General Education Classrooms, and Special Education Leadership in System-wide Equity and Access for Students from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Backgrounds. Professor Kozleski co-edits a book series for Teachers College Press (TCP) on Disability, Culture, and Equity with Professor Alfredo Artiles. Her recent books include Ability, Equity, and Culture (with co-author Kathleen King Thorius) published by TCP in '14 and Equity on Five Continents (with Alfredo Artiles and Federico Waitoller) published in '11 by Harvard Education Press. (-)

Mr. Douglas Little

Douglas Little brings a professional lifetime of experience in special education to Key2Ed, Inc. After beginning his career as a teacher and principal in Tennessee, he has since served at the local, state, federal and higher education levels of public education. His experience in federal, state and local educational administration is as extensive as his experience in the interpretation and application of federal and state statutes, rules and regulations.

For the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), Washington, D.C., Little served as Education Program Specialist and State contact person where he was responsible for monitoring States' implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (Part B). While fulfilling the responsibilities of the position, he was honored with the 1994 Leadership Award from the US Department of Education. Prior to joining OSEP, he worked for several years with the Tennessee Department of Education, Nashville, as an Education Specialist, Secondary Education Staff and Secondary Education Coordinator.

Also within the State of Tennessee, Little served as Director of Special Education for the Bradley County Board of Education, (Bradley, TN) and Cleveland City Schools, (Cleveland, TN). While Director of the Cleveland City Schools program, the governor recognized the system as an A+ system, a highly coveted recognition. In 1984 the Honorable Lamar Alexander, Governor of the State of Tennessee, named Little Aid De Camp, Governor's Staff.
In addition, he has also served as Director of Special Education for Montgomery Public Schools, (Montgomery, AL), and Assistant Superintendent for the San Francisco Unified School District. (-)

Dr. Joyce Little

Dr. Joyce Little began her special education career as a speech/language pathologist teaching students with language disabilities. For over seven years, she also worked as a diagnostic expert, identifying students' disabilities and defining the programs necessary to serve their individual needs. She also worked on special education program audits in multiple school districts in California.

The scope of Dr. Little's forty plus years experience in education is extensive and includes administering local special education programs in Northern and Southern California school districts. For over ten years, she applied her analytical talents and facilitation skills to promote organizational change within these districts. The results of her work positively affected special education programs through dramatically improved communication and coordinated decision-making at the program director and coordinating agency levels.

Her commitment led to improved delivery of service to students through the initiation of Special Education Leadership Teams. The Teams were comprised of teachers, principals, and aides who continuously reviewed and revised processes and procedures within districts for special education programs.

To foster positive patent involvement and participation, she established and improved thriving Community Advisory Committees (CACs) to focus on the development and implementation of dynamic parent information and training opportunities.

In addition to teaching at all levels, from preschool programs to high school, as well as graduate level courses for a National University, she has worked for districts as a fund-raiser and grant writer, and developed award winning school business partnerships.

Together with her husband and partner, Doug Little, Joyce developed the Facilitated IEP Meeting process. Since 1998, she has trained over 14,000 people through her companies JDL Associates, and now Key2Ed. Key2Ed also provides training in educational leadership, and provides to districts and state education agencies, studies and audits in the area of special education. In 2010, Key2Ed founded the Upper Cumberland Education Leadership Academy and Joyce designed and provided training in education leadership through the Academy to rural districts in Tennessee.

She also serves as the External Evaluator for the National Urban Special Education Leadership Initiative (NUSELI) at University of Central Florida, and is part of the National Faculty. She also serves as the External Evaluator for the Urban Special Education Leadership Training (USELT) for Drexel University.

A native Californian, Dr. Little holds the following degrees from the University of Southern California: Ed.D in Education Policy and Administration; M.A. in Communicative Disorders; and B.A. in Political Science. She also holds multiple teaching certificates and educational administration certificates. (-)

Dr. Carmen B. Marinelli

Dr. Carmen B. Marinelli is a Program Professor in Educational Leadership at Nova Southeastern University with over 35 years in K-12 education. Prior to joining Nova Southeastern University full time, Dr. Marinelli was also an Adjunct Professor in Educational Leadership. She has been a teacher, assistant principal, middle and high school principal, as well as Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction and Leadership Development in Miami Dade County Public Schools (MDCPS), the fourth largest school district in the country. She completed her career in K-12 as a Region Superintendent for MDCPS with over 70 schools in her region.

Her undergraduate degree was in English with a minor in Drama and Secondary Education from Barry University, Miami, FL in 1976. She continued her education at the University of Miami with a Masters of Arts in English. Carmen then attended Nova Southeastern University to receive her certification in Administration and Supervision and continued on at Nova to receive her Doctorate in Educational Leadership. In 2000 Dr. Marinelli was named the Miami- Dade County Public Schools Principal of the Year.

Throughout her career in education she has worked with mentoring programs, professional development, dual language programs and community partnerships. Dr. Marinelli's work with mentoring of educational leaders has assisted many in furthering their career goals. She is on the School Board for Christopher Columbus High School in Miami on the Academic Committee, the Board of Trustees at Chaminade- Madonna Preparatory School, the Hispanic Advisory Board at Nova, and is the Scholarship Chair of the Alumni Board at Barry University and a member of St. Timothy Catholic Church, Miami. (-)

Dr. David Riley

2005-2015. The NUSELI project is ever grateful for the service of Dr. Riley. We are saddened by his passing.

David Riley, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Urban Special Education Leadership Collaborative, a national network of education administrators responsible for policy, procedural, and programmatic decision-making affecting children and youth with disabilities in urban school districts. Initiated in the Spring of 1944 under the auspices of Education Development Center, Inc., in Newton, Massachusetts, more than 100 large, medium, and small urban school districts are now enrolled as members. The Collaborative is a national version of the Massachusetts Urban Project, a state-wide network that Dr. Riley founded in 1979 and that continues to provide leadership development and cross-district networking opportunities for special education leaders in that state. For more than 30 years, he has served as an organizational and management consultant to local, state, and federal education agencies. Dr. Riley serves in a leadership position on several federally-funded initiatives and, for the past 16 years, has served as Educational Co-Chair of the Summer Institute on Critical Issues in Urban Special Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. (-)

Dr. Ken Schneider

For the past 38 years, Dr. Schneider has dedicated his professional career to the advancement of services to students with disabilities. He attended Tulane University for his undergraduate studies and then Florida Technological University (presently University of Central Florida) where he obtained a master's degree in Learning Disabilities. He began his teaching career in Atlanta, Georgia supporting students with significant learning disabilities and emotional disorders. In 1979, he was a recipient of a B.E.H. training grant and attended the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana where he received his doctorate in School Administration with an emphasis in Special Education. For two years he worked as an Assistant Director for exceptional education and student services in nine school districts in Illinois for the Belleville Area Special Education District. In 1983, Dr. Schneider moved to Orlando Florida where he served until July 2011 as a special education administrator. Early in his administrative career his responsibilities spanned from school based administration in a K-12 special school for severely disabled students and hospital homebound programs, supervision of low prevalence programs and oversight for federal project budgets and grant writing. In 1991, Dr. Schneider was appointed Director of Exceptional Education and Student Services programs where he provided oversight for curriculum and instruction, transition services, Positive Behavioral Support project, the development of the RtI/MTSS process and the supervision of psychologists, social workers, compliance specialists, instructional coaches and other personnel. From 2000-2006, he received an appointment and served on the Florida Committee for Comprehensive System for Personnel Development and from 2007-2009 received an appointment and served on the Florida Department of Education/Exceptional Education Department Task force on Transition Services.

Since 2006 he has served as an Advisory Board member and mentor for the National Urban Special Education Leadership Initiative at the University of Central Florida. After his retirement from Orange County Public Schools in 2011 Dr. Schneider has supervised student interns at the University of Central Florida, assisted parents and school districts as a private consultant, continued since 1999 as a review board editor for the Journal of Special Education Leadership, in 2012 was an invitee by the U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Special Education Research to participate in a technical working group, Improving Outcomes for Adolescents with Disabilities and has volunteered as the Program Advisor for a work training program, Recognizing Abilities and Inclusion of Special Employees. (-)

Dr. Kimberly Steinke

Kimberly Steinke: In her 23rd year as an educator, Dr. Kimberly Steinke currently serves as the Senior Director of Exceptional Student Education Services for Orange County Public Schools. As the 10th largest school district in the nation and the 4th largest in the state of Florida, OCPS posts an enrollment of over 195,000 students in the Orlando urban area. While providing direct support to the Senior Executive Director for Exceptional Student Education (ESE/special education), Dr. Steinke shares in the leadership of districtwide ESE programs and services to nearly 24,000 students with disabilities and 11,000 gifted students in over 189 schools. A primary function of Dr. Steinke's leadership is filtering the provision of ESE services between the state, district and local school level requiring facilitation with parents of ESE students and with administrative colleagues at all levels. Additional areas of responsibility include oversight and monitoring of Orange County's Local Education Agency (LEA) Indicators/Profile as a required component of Florida's State Performance Plan, ESE Strategic Planning, ownership of the district's ESE State Reporting and FTE funding processes, and districtwide ESE master scheduling policies and procedures. Prior to her role as Senior Director, Dr. Steinke served as the OCPS Director of ESE Procedures where she had oversight of district-wide ESE compliance, Dispute Resolution, implementation of the statewide Portal to Exceptional Education Records (PEER) on-line IEP system, Matrix training, ESE services for charter school students with disabilities, the McKay scholarship program (Florida's school choice option for students with disabilities), Non-Public services, and ESE services for Parentally Placed Private School Students with disabilities. In the school-based setting Dr. Steinke was an Assistant Principal for Curriculum & Instruction at Conway Middle School and an ESE teacher, department chair, coach and administrative dean at West Orange High School.

As an Orlando native Dr. Steinke is a three time University of Central Florida graduate after earning her bachelor's degree in Specific Learning Disabilities, her master's degree in Educational Leadership, and her education doctorate in Urban Special Education Leadership. Dr. Steinke is a member of the inaugural National Urban Special Education Leadership Initiative and currently serves as a member of the NUSELI Advisory Board and as a Graduate Faculty Scholar in UCF's College of Graduate Studies. Due to the critical role of administrators and their experience in the field of special education, Dr. Steinke focused her research in this area as detailed in her dissertation; Examining the Beliefs and Practices of Effective School Leaders as they Relate to Serving Students with Disabilities (2010).

In her spare time, Dr. Steinke relishes time with her college age daughter, family and friends; is experiencing the joy and benefit of newfound physical fitness; and is relishing the adventures of increased travel experiences. Always loyal to UCF, she is also a lifelong Florida State Seminoles fan. (-)

Dr. Winston A. Whyte

Dr. Winston A. Whyte is a 30-year educator who has made commendable contributions to the Jamaican and American communities. Dr. Whyte's career path includes serving as a teacher, Assistant Principal, Principal, and Administrative Director supervising principals and schools. His graduate degrees have been in the area of Leadership and his diverse areas of expertise include Special Education where he has a passion and has been an international presenter. As a Founding Member/Past President of the Jamaican Association of Miami Dade Educators for the past 21 years, Dr. Whyte has contributed through resources, materials, scholarships and workshops. He serves as a member of many boards, and in 2007 as Principal of Howard D. McMillian Middle School he led his school to become the first secondary school in the State of Florida to receive the prestigious Governor's Sterling Award. Dr. Whyte has been given numerous accolades and awards, including the Consulate General of Jamaica Community Service Award, Principal of the Year for Miami-Dade County Public Schools, and State of Florida Middle School Principal of the Year for 2008.


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