Experience and Expertise from on the ground implementors!
Meet Our Presenters
Dr. George Batsche
Dr. George M. Batsche is a Professor and Director Emeritus and previous Professor and Coordinator of graduate programs in School Psychology at the University of South Florida. He was the Co-Director of the Institute for School Reform at USF. The Institute is focused on an integrated service delivery model to improve academic and behavioral/social-emotional outcomes for all students using a MTSS framework. The majority of his work has focused on systemic district and statewide school reform and improvement initiatives with an emphasis on improving the performance of students with disabilities and at-risk populations. Dr. Batsche has authored more than 75 publications (journal articles, book chapters, books, technical reports) related to his work. Dr. Batsche also serves on numerous state departments of education advisory boards and is the Vice-Chair of the Professional Advisory Board for the National Center on Learning Disabilities (NCLD.) Dr. Batsche’s experience also includes serving as a school psychologist, a building principal and a district administrator.
Ms. Debbie Boersma
Debbie A. Boersma, M.A., is a Literacy Consultant for the Kalamazoo RESA Instructional Center. She received her education training and Master’s Degree in Teaching and Learning from Western Michigan University. Before her work at Kalamazoo RESA, she spent over fifteen years in both the elementary and middle school settings. Debbie has also worked as a middle school reading interventionist and instructional coach, as well as, designed and implemented a successful Title 1 reading initiative. Currently, she spends the majority of her time as an instructional coach where she brings her expertise in the areas of data-based decision making and evidence-based best practices to support educators in adjusting instruction to impact student achievement. In addition to coaching at the classroom level, Debbie works to support the coaching system needed to support the district-level instructional coaches. Debbie is extremely passionate about education and enjoys sharing this experience with other educators.
Dr. Jose Castillo
Jose Castillo is an Associate Professor and Director of the Institute for School-Community Partnerships at the University of South Florida. He began his career as a school psychologist collaborating with school and district leadership teams to implement MTSS. He currently helps to bridge research and practice by consulting with school, district, and state partners to build capacity for their multi-tiered systems of support.
Ms. Nicole Coleman
Nicole R. S. Coleman, M. A., is a Professional Learning Content Specialist for Michigan’s Multi-Tiered System of Supports Technical Assistance Center. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education and Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Western Michigan University. Nicole's joyful journey includes teaching in both the middle school and high school settings for nearly ten years. In addition, she served as a curriculum writer of new courses intended to support literacy in all content areas. Most recently, Nicole served as a Literacy Consultant and Instructional Coach for Kalamazoo RESA, where she supported secondary school teachers and support staff throughout southwest Michigan in the implementation of high-yielding instructional best practices in literacy instruction.
Dr. Judy Elliott
Judy Elliott is the former Chief Academic Officer of the Los Angeles Unified School District. Before that she was the Chief of Teaching and Learning in the Portland Oregon Public Schools and prior to that an Assistant Superintendent of Student Support Services in the Long Beach Unified School District in CA. Judy also worked as a Senior Researcher at the National Center on Educational Outcomes at the University of Minnesota. She started her career as a special education classroom teacher and then school psychologist. During this time, she was an adjunct Professor at the State University College at Buffalo New York. Judy continues to assist school districts, cooperatives, national organizations and state departments of education in their efforts to update and realign systems and infrastructures around curriculum, instruction, assessment, data use, leadership and accountability that includes all students and renders a return on investment.
Dr. Nikole Hollins-Sims
Nikole Y. Hollins-Sims, Ed.D., is the senior educational consultant & strategist for Hollins-Sims Consultation and is an internationally recognized speaker. She formerly served as a technical assistance coordinator for the Midwest PBIS network and is a former Special Assistant to the Secretary of Education at the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). Additionally, Dr. Hollins-Sims has previously served as an educational consultant for the Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network (PaTTAN), where she was the co-statewide lead for the Learning Environment & Engagement initiative. She is a Pennsylvania certified school psychologist and has conducted research around caregivers of children of incarcerated parents and their motivation to engage in family-school partnerships. Dr. Hollins-Sims has been awarded as a Moral and Courageous Leader for Education by Cabrini University in 2021, the 2021 American Psychological Association (APA) Anti-Racism School Psychology Emerging Professional Award and was named the 2021 Pennsylvania School Psychologist of the Year. She has also been honored with the Gateway to Equity Award by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) - Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Chapter. One of her career highlights is serving as the lead author of the book titled: Creating Equitable Practices in PBIS.
Dr. Amber Humm Patnode
Dr. Amber Humm Patnode is the Associate Director for Proving Ground at Harvard University's Center for Education Policy Research, where she supports districts in implementing evidence based continuous improvement processes. Prior to joining the Center for Education Policy Research, Amber worked at the University of Minnesota's Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement and the Florida Problem Solving and Response to Intervention Project at the University of South Florida where she conducted program evaluation, facilitated professional learning and provided technical assistance to school districts and schools related to MTSS implementation, early warning systems, data-based problem-solving and chronic absenteeism. She co-developed tools to identify reasons for chronic absenteeism among secondary students and parents of chronically absent PreK-12 students. She has also worked as a school psychologist within school districts in MI, LA, AZ and SC. Amber received a Ph.D. in school psychology with an emphasis in organizational consultation and systems change from the University of South Florida.
Dr. Dawn Miller
Dawn Miller, Ph.D. is Associate Director of Technical Assistance of SWIFT Education Center at the University of Kansas. Her experience includes roles in statewide and district planning, professional learning, implementation, and evaluation of an integrated Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS). In addition she served on a committee that led state regulatory changes regarding Child Find and eligibility of children in the community for special education services and translated these changes into district procedures linked to MTSS. Dr. Miller is well known for her leadership in a national network of like-minded individuals and state agencies who share a vision for and systems approach to supporting student success. She has recently published a book on Leading Equity-Based MTSS for All Students, contributed to the literature in several Best Practices in School Psychology volumes, and had other publications related to MTSS. She strives daily to support the creation of a single system that demonstrates strong outcomes for each and every student.
Dr. Melissa Nantais
Dr. Melissa Nantais is the Advanced Tiers Coordinator for Michigan’s Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MiMTSS) Technical Assistance Center. Melissa focuses on the advanced tiers and intensifying instruction/intervention supports for behavior and literacy. Before joining the MiMTSS TA Center, Melissa worked as a school psychologist, educational consultant, and university professor.
Ms. Amanda Nickerson
Amanda Nickerson is a literacy technical assistance specialist from Ohio. Her primary aim is to provide technical support and deliver ongoing professional development on how to diagnose, prevent, and remediate reading difficulties through culturally responsive and evidence-based reading instruction and intervention. In addition to consulting, Amanda has previous experience working as a literacy consultant, teacher, interventionist, peer coach, and as an adjunct instructor. She is a doctoral candidate at Mount St. Joseph University who holds a Masters degree in Literacy Curriculum and Instruction, a BA in Early Childhood Education, a K-12 reading endorsement, and a K-12 gifted specialist endorsement. Her research interests coalesce around the intersection of gifted education, MTSS, and scientifically-based reading research.
Dr. Pamela Radford
Pamela M. Radford, Ph.D. has over 20 years of school based experience as a school psychologist and school administrator in providing ongoing training, coaching and technical assistance to districts in the development of system wide practices to promote academic and behavioral growth. Dr. Radford earned her doctoral degree from Western Michigan University in School Psychology. Previously, she served as the Statewide Administrator for the Illinois RtI Network, formally known as I-ASPIRE, developing a coaching of coaches model to support implementation of MTSS across the state of IL. Dr. Radford has extensive experience as a coach and professional development trainer in the implementation of MTSS practices across Illinois and has provided leadership in MTSS implementation at the state level. Within a continuous improvement model, her focus has been on using a data based decision making framework to build sustainable evidence based practices at both the building and district levels.
Dr. Stephanie Stollar
Dr. Stephanie Stollar is the founder of Stephanie Stollar Consulting LLC and the creator of The Reading Science Academy. Dr. Stollar is a part-time assistant professor in the online reading science program at Mount St. Joseph University, and a founding member of a national alliance for supporting reading science in higher education. As a board member for the Innovations in Education Consortium, she collaboratively plans the annual MTSS Innovations in Education Conference. Dr. Stollar has worked as a school psychologist, an educational consultant, and as Vice President for Professional Learning for Acadience Learning Inc. She has provided professional development, conducted research and published in the areas of assessment, early intervention, and collaborative problem solving. She is passionate about improving educator knowledge and aligning school systems to prevent reading failure.