Special Education Cadre
Special Education Teacher
Sherlunda is a special education teacher at North Middle School in the Everett School District.
Jennifer (Stevens) Bendix
Special Education Teacher
Jennifer has 6 years experience in emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) and 8 years as a Resource Teacher at Juanita High School in the Lake Washington School District – currently, the Special Education Department Leader at her school, a member of the district’s Special Education Advisory Board, and the high school education representative for the ELA adoption committee. Her areas of specialty/expertise are related to Behavior and Autism.
Joanna has two teenage sons 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.
General Education Teacher
Benjamin currently serves as a secondary mathematics educator in Pierce County, working with middle school and high school students. Having graduated from the University of Portland with a Bachelor’s, Benjamin explored public service in education as a multi-term AmeriCorps VISTA member before returning to complete a Masters in Teaching from Concordia University.
Arc Program Director
While learning the ropes of being a parent to a child with medical needs, Jamie developed a heart for families and individuals doing the same. This led her to her job at the Arc. She has worked for the Arc of Snohomish County for over 10 years. In the position of Program Director she uses her talents to demonstrate a passion for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families through both fun and educational opportunities.
Shari has served as a member of the Washington State Special Education Advisory Council.
Special Education Teacher
Brenda starting out studying cardiology, but kept getting “bumped into other programs and somehow just could not get out of the education classes that were being offered.” She has held a number of positions with the Spokane Public Schools, since 1998: Resource Math – High School, Multi-handicapped, Orthopedically Handicapped – Elementary Level, and Special Education, Self-contained – Middle School.
Chris is a Special Education Director through ESD 113 where he supports special education programming within the Lewis County Special Education Cooperative and other districts in the region. He has previously worked in the Central Kitsap and Edmonds School Districts. Chris has both elementary and high school special education experience. His focus: students with Autism and Emotional/Behavioral Disability. He holds a Masters in Teaching Special Education and Functional Behavioral Analysis from Gonzaga University.
Brandi is a parent of two daughters, one of whom was diagnosed with Autism at age 2. She has learned much about supporting students with disabilities through her service on the board of the SW Washington Special Education PTSA – helping provide IEP training, Special Education forums, and advocacy for families. In 2016-2017, she was a member of the Clark County Parent Coalition Leadership Academy addressing areas of Special Education, Washington State Disability Services, and Advocacy. Brandi is a tirelessly advocate for her daughters and other parents in similar situations.
Antionette retired from Seattle Schools District after 18 years; currently a trainer for OSPI and WEA. She was introduced autism by her grandson and has continued learn through his experiences.
Aneeka hires, onboards, and coordinates all aspects of the Substitute Office for the Renton School District. She is a cadre member of the NEA ESP Leadership Institute and NEA Educator Diversity Collective. She’s active in the Renton Professional Technical Association and Rainier Uniserv Council. Aneeka is a core team member for the Rainier Educators of Color Network Equity Team and a certified lead trainer in the areas of Implicit Bias and Equity. She holds a double master’s degree in Business and Public Administration and a Bachelor’s degree in Communications.
Anna is a school psychologist in the Spokane Public Schools and an adjunct professor in the School Psychology program at Gonzaga University. She earned a Ph.D. from Syracuse University, and has been in practice since 1998, serving students from pre-K through high school; in Resource, Designed Instruction, MHOH, Behavior Intervention, ADAPT (for higher functioning students on the Autism Spectrum), MAP and Tamarack (for students with severe mental health needs), the Skills Center, and Images (post-high school transition).
Rebecca previously worked as a Special Education teacher and a K-12 Life Skills coordinator in the Bellevue School District. She holds a BS in K-6 Primary Collaboration and Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE), a masters degree in ECSE, and a masters in Administration. Rebecca is Nationally Board Certified in the area of ECYA/ENS Sever/Multiple for ages-21 and has worked in a multitude of environments fron K-12 to higher ed. She has served as a head coach for Special Olympics for 10+ years.
SLP, Wenatchee School District
Suzanne has a Masters Degree in Speech and Language Pathology from Nova Southeastern University, and Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education from Eastern Washington University. She has 23 years experience in K-12 education: 9 years as a General Ed Teacher in a variety of grade levels, and 14 years as a Speech-Language Pathologist.
TOSA, Mentor for new SpEd Teachers
Mindy teaches 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. Mindy 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.
General Education Teacher, Battle Ground
Colleen earned a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Michigan Technological University and began her teaching career in Michigan. For the past 18 years, she has been teaching at Prairie High School in Vancouver, WA. Colleen especially enjoys teaching Geometry and AP Statistics. She recently finished a Master’s in Educational Leadership/Administration and regularly participates on math leadership teams.
General Education w/inclusion
Rachael is a Nationally Board Certified EYA Science Teacher and holds a BA in Elementary Education as well as a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction-English as a Second Language from Arizona State University. She started her career teaching 3rd grade in Arizona but has spent the majority of her nineteen plus years teaching middle school Science. Currently, Rachael teaches middle school Science in Spokane, Washington and has been with the Cadre since 2016. Rachael is also a parent of a typically developing child, a child with a 504 plan and a child on the Autism Spectrum.
Dave has worked as a non-profit youth program director, substitute bus driver, substitute teacher, and paraeducator across Central Kitsap and Peninsula School Districts. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Cairn University in Pennsylvania. His experience working with students in many capacities and his love of technology put him in a place to support other educators and students during remote learning. Within the team, his primary roles are offering technical support and doing tech training for fellow paraeducators.
TOSA, P-12 Compliance/Safety Net Facilitator
As Special Services Compliance & Safety Net Facilitator for the Everett School District, Marisol is responsible for supporting, training, and monitoring special education teachers and related staff providers in the writing of IEPs – monitoring IEP compliance for all high need students. She is a National Board Certified Teacher in ECYA/ENS Mild/Moderate for ages 5-21, with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a Master’s Degree in Special Education. Marisol has taught students with various disabilities in multiple classroom settings: K-8 Resource, 6-8 Extended Resource, and 3-5 Behavior Support.
[bio and photo coming soon]
Paraprofessional, Everett Public Schools
Bio coming, soon.
Special Education Teacher
Danae is a National Board Certified Exceptional Needs Specialist P-12 for Severe and Profound students. She holds a BA focusing in Deaf and Bilingual Education and 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. 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, specializing in students with language delays. Danae is also the parent of three typically developing children and one child with severe disabilities.
Special Education 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.
General Education w/inclusion, Ellensburg
District/Central Office Administrator
Tamra began her career path in special education as an undergraduate, working at a residential treatment facility for students with significant emotional and behavioral disabilities. In part, those experiences led her to become a school psychologist. She has worked in Colorado, Oregon, and Washington, and is currently with the Battle Ground School District. She later became a district PBIS coach, aiding in the development and implementation of the district’s Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports system. Tamra now works in special education administration.
Regional Science Coordinator
Special Education Teacher, Coach
Heidi has several degrees from Washington State University – endorsed in both Early Childhood General Education and Early Childhood Special Education. Over her 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 and coaches in an inclusive preschool classroom. Heidi recently launched a consulting business assisting new Special Education Teachers with classroom organization and teaching strategies.
Special Education Teacher, Tukwila
Special Ed Teacher, Adjunct Professor
Joan is a middle school teacher in the Ellensburg School District. She works with students with moderate and significant disabilities, and is an adjunct instructor at Central Washington University. Joan earned a Bachelor’s degree from Central Washington University and a Master’s degree from City University. She is National Board Certified as an Exceptional Needs Specialist, Severe and Multiple Disabilities. Joan has been in education 25+ years, teaching students with all levels of abilities and in a variety of inclusive settings. Joan’s husband, Steve, is also a teacher. They have 4 children, 2 dogs, plus several horses and mules.
Kari lives in Vancouver, WA with her husband Tim and son (now 20 years old) who was diagnosed with autism at age 2. Kari has been a strong parent advocate and classroom volunteer: a PTA member, on the board of the local Special Education PTSA, coach & board member for Miracle League baseball, and volunteer for local disability organizations. Kari’s main goal is to help create an inclusive and accepting school and community environment – advocating for inclusion in general education classes and helping support differentiated instruction – recently organizing a parent advisory group to work with staff to improve the Evergreen Transition Program.
Beth Ann Sykes
Special Ed Teacher, Adjunct Professor
Beth teaches in the Wenatchee Valley Community Transitions program. She’s worked with middle and high school students, and currently, with 18-21 year-olds. Beth has taught in Spokane Public Schools, Mead School District, Wenatchee School District, and serves as an Adjunct Professor and Course Developer at Eastern Washington University. She’s a Course Developer and Trainer for both the WEA Special Education Cadre and Inclusionary Practices Project. Beth is a National Board Certified Teacher; having received awards from Eastern Washington University and ARC of Spokane. She’s also a successful grant writer for her district.
Exceptional Needs Specialist
Emily has been a special education teacher since 2004, beginning in a South Texas high school level through Teach for America. She’s worked in Life Skills classrooms and resource rooms; currently teaching in a dual language elementary school in Wenatchee, during which time she has also earned an NBCT certification. Emily strives to incorporate UDL principles in her daily teaching practice.
Currently in the Tukwila School District, Micheal has worked in Special Education for 12 years supporting students with a variety of cognitive, physical, social and behavioral needs. He’s worked with with organizations providing mentorship to youth and has spent the last 7 years as a district resource guiding Educators through the process of developing, modifying and implementing behavior supports for students.
Retired WEA Staff
Mark 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.
Consultant, Learning Options
Gary 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 more than a decade, 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.
Consultant, Education Services Group
Pat has extensive experience as a special educator in the public schools of Washington State and as the special education coordinator for the Washington Education Association. Responsibilities included designing and providing training to educators on a wide range of special ed topics. Pat has a strong background in school improvement, special education service models, and instruction – currently consulting with several school districts, agencies and educational organizations, and the WEA Special Ed Support Center.