Our Team

WEA Staff

Annie Lamberto, Special Programs Director

Annie joined the WEA professional staff, as Special Programs Director, effective July 1, 2019. She holds a B.Ed. in Varying Exceptionalities, a M.Ed. in Technology, and a M.Ed. in Educational Leadership. Annie previously served as Director of Special Services in Battle Ground Public Schools. Before that, she was a special education teacher for 20 years, beginning in Broward County, Florida. She has experience in a variety of special education fields, including working with students with behavior disorders, autism spectrum disorders, students at risk, resource classrooms, and life skills classrooms. Additionally, Annie has been an instructor for ESD-U’s and City U’s teacher preparation programs in special education. In 2013, she achieved National Board Teacher Certification as an Exceptional Needs Specialist. Annie has been a member of the WEA Special Education Cadre since 2014. You may contact Annie via email.

Melissa Marsh, Project Assistant

Melissa provides scheduling, logistics, and materials support for trainings and related SESC activities.

Special Ed Cadre

Sherlunda Anderson-Smith

Sherlunda is a special education teacher at North Middle School in the Everett School District.

Jennifer (Stevens) Bendix, Special Ed Teacher

Jennifer has a Bachelor of Science in therapeutic recreation with a minor in psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University, and an MIT (masters in teaching) from City University with K-8 and Special Education P-12 certificates. She is actively perusing a doctorate (EdD) through Grand Canyon University in Special Education. Jennifer has completed numerous trainings, including: DBT, CPI, and Restorative Justice circles. She has 5 years teaching experience in EBD and is in year 5 as a Resource Teacher at Juanita High School in the Lake Washington School District. Her areas of specialty/expertise are related Behavior and Autism. She became a member of the Cadre in June 2011 and has participated in 6 summer Boot Camps.

In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and their two sons (a 3-year-old and one less-than-1-year). As a life time learner, she is spreading the joy of learning to her toddler and has him enrolled in a co-op preschool.

Joanna Blanchard, Parent/Occupational Therapist

Joanna Blanchard is the parent of two sons, Ethan (17) and Dan (15) who fall on opposite ends of the autism spectrum. By advocating for inclusion and access for their wide range of challenges she became experienced in teaming with public school systems. This along with her experience as an occupational therapist on the “other side of the IEP table” gave her a  unique perspective in helping teams collaborate.  She has been a speaker and continuing education provider as well as parent coach for varied districts, programs and parent groups.
After graduating from Oregon State with a degree in Psychology followed by Pacific University with her masters in occupational therapy, Joanna has been a therapist as well as a mom serving children and adults in Washington for the past 20 years. Her experience includes medical, psychological, educational, home-based and private settings with patients ranging from NICU babies to middle aged adults. She specializes in sensory processing and neurology-based practice as well as trauma, attachment and behavioral issues. She gained administrative, business and public speaking experience when running her own practice: Everybody Stims Pediatric Therapy.
Her passion is to help teams have fun and positive experiences as they collaborate to develop inclusive and comprehensive programs at the IEP table and beyond. —including long-term community relationships, access and success for all students as they become adults in our communities.

Amanda Brakebill, School Psychologist

waiting for photo and bio

Mona Calahan, Special Ed Teacher

waiting for photo and bio

Phyllis Campano, Special Ed Teacher, Local President

Phyllis is president of the Seattle Education Assocation… more details to be added.

Shari Cotes

photo and bio will be posted soon.

Brenda Cunningham, Special Ed Teacher


Brenda has lived in Spokane for most of her life and where she raised her children. She attended Spokane Community Colleges (SCC and SFCC), Olympic College, Eastern Washington University, Whitworth University, and Lesley University. Credentials include an AAS, a BA in Elementary Education, Sociology, and an endorsement in K-12 Special Education. Brenda has a Masters degree in Creative Arts and is a National Board Certified Teacher (2012).
After substituting for a few years, Brenda became a teacher for Spokane Public Schools and has held a few different positions, since 1998: Resource Math – High School, Multi-handicapped, Orthopedically Handicapped – Elementary Level, and Special Education, Self-contained – Middle School. She has also worked during the summers with Physical Therapists and students in their homes and at the middle school teaching summer math classes.  Brenda says: “It’s the best career I didn’t choose because I starting out studying cardiology, kept getting bumped into other programs and somehow just could not get out of the education classes that were being offered.” She looks forward to working and learning with colleagues and students, every day.

Franklin Day, Associate Director, Special Education

cadre-franklinFranklin Day earned his B.S. in Psychology at Eastern Washington University, his Ed.S. in School Psychology at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, his Administrative Credentials at Washington State University and is currently pursuing a superintendent certificate at Washington State University. Franklin has served on the executive boards for the Nevada Association of School Psychologists, the Southern Nevada Association for the Education of Young Children, Washington-Council of Administrators of Special Education and the Woodland Montessori School Board of Directors. In addition, he has served on the advisory council for Gonzaga University’s School Psychology Doctoral Program, Whitworth University’s Special Education Advisory Board and the Eastern Washington University School Psychology Program Advisory Board. Franklin has worked in mental health hospitals, birth to three early intervention programs, public and private preschool, public and charter k-12 schools and in higher education systems, as an ABA therapist, a school psychologist, a program administrator and as a school district administrator. Franklin is currently the director of student support services in Cheney Public Schools.

Christopher Doll, District Administrator

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Brandi Dyment, Parent/Guardian

Brandi is a parent of two daughters, 10 (Sumi) and 15 (Kimi) years old.  Her oldest daughter Kimi was diagnosed with Autism in 2007 at the age of 2.  She has spent the last 12 years learning how to appropriately support someone with a disability in all areas of their life.  Brandi was on the board of Special Education PTSA of SW Washington for 9 years.  She helped provide IEP training, Special Education forums, and advocacy for families in SW Washington.  In 2016-2017, Brandi was a member of the Clark County Parent Coalition Leadership Academy.  This Leadership training helped give her valuable training in areas of Special Education, Washington State Disability Services, and Advocacy.   Brandi has advocated tirelessly to ensure her daughters, both receive equal opportunities and access to education in the public school system.

Amy Evitt, SLP & Early Childhood Coordinator

bio coming soon.

Antionett Felder, Retired Administrator

A retired from Seattle Schools District after 18 years; currently a trainer for OSPI and WEA.  Antionett was introduced autism by her grandson and has continued learn thru his eyes.

Anna Fritts, School Psychologist

cadre-annaAnna earned her B.S. in Psychology at the University of Washington, her M.S. and Ph.D. in School Psychology at Syracuse University, and her superintendent credentials at Gonzaga University. In addition to serving on the WEA Special Education Training Cadre, Anna has also served on the executive board for the Washington State Association of School Psychologists, the National RTI Leadership Network, the RTI and Early Intervening Services Committee Task Force for OSPI, the Special Education Assessment Leadership Team for OSPI, the ELL / Special Education Joint Certificate of Mastery Task Force for OSPI, the School Psychology Certification Work Group, the Professional Education Advisory Board for EWU, and Gonzaga University’s Advisory Council to the School Psychology Graduate Program. In addition, she has been the facilitator of the Spokane Public Schools’ Special Education Support Center and has taught a number of university classes.  Anna is employed as a school psychologist in the Spokane Public Schools, and has been awarded Washington State School Psychologist of the Year in 2004, the National Association of School Psychologists’ Certificate of Recognition for the School Psychologist of the Year Program in 2006, the Best Practices in Education / Supervision by the Washington State Association of School Psychologists in 2012, and (as part of Hamblen Elementary), the School Psychology Services Award by the Washington State Association of School Psychologists in 2012.

Rebecca Fry, Educational Consultant

10537028_10204437039949922_7246726369609264933_nRebecca is currently working as an independent consultant as well as state trainer for SESC. Previously, she worked as a Special Education teacher for 13 years and a K-12 Life Skills coordinator for the past 5 years. She started her career in Maysville, Alabama, working also in Louisiana before moving to Washington to become a life skills teacher. She holds a BS in K-6 Primary Collaboration and Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE), a masters degree in ECSE from the University of South Alabama, and a masters in Administration from University of Washington. She is Nationally Board Certified in the area of ECYA/ENS Sever/Multiple ages-21. She has worked as a teacher/instructor in a multitude of environments to include self-contained, Resource room, full inclusion (co-teaching), life skills, and college (undergraduate and MIT). She has been a state trainer for OSPI and WEA for the past 7+ years. She has also proudly served as a head coach for Special Olympics for 10+ years.

Kelly Gettles, Speech Language Pathologist

bio and photo coming soon

Suzanne Gladsjo, Speech Language Pathologist

Suzanne Gladsjo is in her 14th year as a Speech Language Pathologist for Wenatchee School District.  She has a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis on K-12 Reading.  Suzanne has a passion for enriching the minds of our youth and loves working with Middle School and High School students.  She reports finding those age groups to be the most fun to enrich as their buy-in for their learning is usually pretty high.  Suzanne is excited to be a member of the Special Ed Cadre and eager to bring high quality training to educators across the state.  She notes that there are a lot of areas of Washington that have to travel to get good Professional Development and loves the idea of being on a team of people who bring quality PD directly to them.

Wendy Graves, Special Ed Teacher

bio & photo coming soon.

Devin Gurley, Central Office Administrator

photo and bio coming soon

Erinn Havig, Social Worker

photo and bio coming soon

Jen Havig, General Ed Teacher

photo and bio coming soon

Mindy Hoffman, TOSA, Mentor for new sped teachers

Mindy is in her 16th year of teaching Special Education in the Kennewick School District. Throughout her career, she has held several teaching positions including: middle school resource teacher and inclusion teacher, elementary life skills teacher, and elementary resource room teacher. She is currently a full-time mentor teacher, facilitating the development of new-career special education teachers. With her Master’s in Elementary Math Education, Mindy also has taught Math and Science, in the Early Education department at Columbia Basin College.

Colleen Homola, General Ed Teacher

photo and bio coming soon

Heather (Frede) Hupe, Paraprofessional

photo and bio coming soon

Jonathan Judy, Building Administrator

Jonathan is the Assistant Principal at Hidden River Middle School and Maltby Elementary School in the Monroe School District. After earning a Master’s in Special Education from the University of Washington, with a focus on serving students with Emotional and / or Behavioral Disabilities, he spent 10 years working in self-contained classrooms and programs working with this student population. Jonathan has worked in both public school settings, as well as in private placement. Prior to making the leap to administration, Jonathan spent 4 years developing and facilitating programming for under-served students with a pattern of internalizing behaviors in the Lake Washington School District. In Lake Washington, he drew on his behavioral roots to provide services to students and coaching to teachers within general education classrooms. Jonathan’s current focus and area of interest is working with teachers to increase access points and lower barriers to achievement for students with disabilities. He has developed and pursued a career-long interest in building classroom and school environments that allow students to experience the safety and belonging they need to understand the potential they have for building competence. As such, Jonathan draws from frameworks of restorative justice, positive behavior intervention support, and multi-tiered systems of support to help build and refine school systems that promote student learning for each individual. Jonathan grew up in the Puget Sound region and as such loves to be outside any chance he gets, particularly with his wife and three kids.

Rachel Kettner-Thompson, General Ed Teacher

photo and bio coming soon

Madonna Konshuk-Carlton, Special Ed Teacher

photo and bio coming soon

Marisol Mallari, Special Ed Teacher, P-12 Compliance & Assessment

photo and bio coming soon

Heidi Melcher, Special Ed Teacher

photo and bio coming soon

Dacca Michaelis, Special Ed Teacher

bio coming soon.

Terressa Montgomery, Parent

Terressa has been a member of the Cadre since 1995. She has two adult children, Alexi and Spenser. Her son, Spenser, introduced the family to autism in 1990. Terressa was active in her childrens’ education and created strong collaborative programs with the school teachers and staff. Working with private specialists, Terressa established an in-home therapy program for Spenser which helped her provide strong leadership to her son’s respective IEP teams. Terressa has a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Eastern Washington University. She also has her JD from Gonzaga University School of Law. Terressa is currently employed as a Business Coach and trainer with a national insurance company.

Leslie Morrison, Special Ed Teacher

Leslie A. Morrison has been a special education teacher for 18 years. For the last 13 she has been the Employment and Transition Liaison Teacher for the Gateway to Adult Transition Education Program with Vancouver Public Schools. In this job, she works with students 18 to 21. Leslie is the owner of SW Transition. She is always looking for ways to empower adult students to become competent, responsible, and compassionate citizens. She has been actively involved in organizations and projects that improve the quality of life for youth since 1980. She has over 300 clock hours of training in Person Centered Planning in the last 10 years. Leslie has been facilitating PCP for over 10 years and has mentored numerous individuals in the PCP process.

She has worked with special needs students ranging from elementary age children to adults. Leslie has presented at several regional and national workshops and conferences. Her Bachelor’s Degree is in Mass Communication and Speech from Linfield College. Her graduate level training is in Curriculum and Instruction and Speech from the University of Southern Mississippi. Before joining the staff of the Vancouver Public Schools, Leslie worked as the Director of Public Relations for Creative Educational Co. She was also an adjunct faculty for Lewis and Clark College and Portland State University where she taught graduate level courses in special education.

Camille Nelson, Special Ed Teacher

Waiting for bio

Danae Place, Special Ed Teacher

cadre-daneaDanae Place is a National Board Certified Exceptional Needs Specialist P-12 for Severe and Profound students. She holds a BA from The Evergreen State College focusing in Deaf and Bilingual Education. She also has a Master’s Degree in Special Education. Danae started her career in Deaf education and has taught at every level from early childhood through adults over the last 15 years. Some of that time was spent training teachers of the Deaf in Kenya. She is currently working as a K-2nd grade teacher for students with moderate to severe disabilities at Evergreen Elementary School in Shelton, WA. She specializes in students with language delays and this is her second year with the Cadre. Danae is also the parent of three typically developing children and one child with severe disabilities.

Gordon Quinlan, Special Ed Teacher

Gordon is a native San Diegan, where he spent 13 years as a Laboratory Technician. He has lived in Washington for the past 20 years; first attending The Evergreen State College and graduating with a Master in Teaching degree, in 2004. Gordon intended to be a Kindergarten teacher but discovered that he enjoyed Special Education. He teaches students with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Emotional Behavioral Disability, and other similar disabilities that present with challenging behavior.

Gordon is very active in the special education community and works to keep up on changes in the field. He is new to the Special Ed Cadre, happy for the opportunity to share experiences, and looking forward to classes and workshops with his new colleagues.

Erin Reiber, General Ed Teacher

photo and bio coming soon

Heidi Schroeder, Special Ed Teacher, Coaching

Heidi graduated from Washington State University (WSU) with a Bachelor’s degree in Education, and obtained her K-12 Special Education teaching certificate as well as her K-8 General Education Teaching Certificate from WSU. She graduated from Western Washington University (WWU) with a Master’s degree in Exceptional Children where she also received her Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education Endorsements.

Over her 30+ year career Heidi has taught K-5 Resource Room, A K-5 Life Skills class, General Education Kindergarten, General Education 1st grade and Special Education Preschool. She currently, teaches an alternative classroom for preschool students on the Autism Spectrum as well as coaches in an inclusive preschool classroom. Heidi has recently opened her own Consulting Business focusing on assisting new Special Education Teachers with classroom organization and some teaching strategies.

When not working, Heidi spends as much time as possible with her 3 beautiful grandchildren, her 3 crazy dogs, wandering in the wilderness, sitting in the sun, and puzzling.

Joan Smith-Bator, Special Ed Teacher, Adjunct Professor

photo of Joan SmithJoan Smith is a middle level life skills teacher in the Ellensburg school district. She has been teaching for 25 years, with experience in special education, general education, and co-teaching. She is currently working toward her National Board Certification as a special education P-12 specialist, as well as becoming a Certified Practitioner with the TEACCH autism program. Joan also works as an adjunct professor for Central Washington University in the Department of Education, Development, Teaching and Learning.
When not at work, Joan enjoys horseback riding, camping, cooking and spending time with her husband and children.

Kari Sullivan, Parent/Guardian

photo and bio coming soon

Beth Sykes, Special Ed Teacher, Adjunct Professor

photo and bio coming soon

Janise Wertz, Special Ed Teacher

photo and bio coming soon

Julie Wickersham, ESP

bio coming soon.

Emily Wilgus, Special Ed Teacher

Consultants

Mark Anderson, Retired WEA Staff

Mark Anderson is a life long special educator who previously served as Coordinator of Special Programs for the WEA. Since retirement, Mark has continued his interest in special education by serving as a Special Education trainer, advisor, and critical friend, for the WEA Special Education Support Center.

Gary Obermeyer, Learning Options

gary-goateeGary Obermeyer has served in various roles in support of WEA projects and programs, beginning in the mid-80s with the Restructuring Schools initiative and later with the NEA Keys to Excellence program. For the past 8 years, he has been a consultant to the Special Education Support Center in the design, maintenance, and promotion of the SESC website, and in the facilitation of online support for the WEA Special Ed Cadre.

Pat Steinburg, Education Services Group

Pat Steinburg has many years of experience working as a special educator in the public schools of Washington State, and as the special education coordinator for the Washington Education Association where her responsibilities included designing and providing training to educators on special education topics. Pat has extensive background in school improvement, special education service models, and instruction. She currently works as a consultant with school districts, agencies and educational organizations, and the Special Education Support Center.

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