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Advisory Commissioners and Members

Advisory Commission on Special Education Directory.
Commission Member Names, E-mail Address, Term, and Appointing Body

Commissioners Term Appointment
Sara Jocham
01/16/13-12/31/16 State Board
Kristi Hagans
01/16/13-12/31/15 State Board
Nancy Portillo
01/16/13-12/31/16 State Board
Somer Harding
01/16/13-12/31/16 State Board

Gina Plate



Mariano Sanz




term ending 12/31/13


Betty Karnette



Barbara Schulman
08/20/12-12/31/15 Assembly

Feda Amaliti



Morena de Grimaldi
08/11/06-12/31/15 Senate
Lester Pincu
01/08/13-12/31/17 Senate
Mildred Browne
01/15/14-12/31/15 State Board
Matt Navo
04/02/14-12/31/17 State Board
Steve Winlock
04/02/14-12/31/17 State Board
Student Commission Member Names, E-mail Address, and Term

Student Members Term
Hyla Rachwal

In accordance with the ACSE By Laws, Article I, Section 4, Tenure, "Every Commissioner whose term has expired may continue to discharge the duties of his/her office until his/her successor has qualified."

Legislative Members:

Senate Member
Carol Liu
916-324-7543 (fax)
Robert Oakes, Legislative Director

Assembly Member
Joan Buchanan
Diana B. Glick, Consultant

Executive Secretary:
Fred Balcom
916-327-3706 (fax)

State Board Liaison:

Carl A. Cohn
State Board of Education
1430 N Street, Room 5111
Sacramento, CA 95814

State Special Schools Director:

Scott Kerby
916-445-4550 (fax)

Commission Staff Liaison:

Venetia Davis
916-327-3706 (fax)

Commissioner’s Biographies
Morena de Grimaldi

Morena de Grimaldi has been working as a Special Education Assistant in a K-5 classroom for the past year and a half. Prior to that, she worked 20 years in retail customer service followed by 12 years in online banking customer service.

Ms. de Grimaldi attended San Francisco State University and San Jose State University where she majored in Chemistry. She is the parent of a child with a disability.

Betty Karnette

Betty Karnette received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from California State University Long Beach with a focus on K-12 and adult education. She taught 31 years for the Los Angeles Unified School District and received the following credentials: Reading Specialist, Adult Education Teacher, Master Teacher, ESL Specialist, Middle School Math Coordinator, and Administration.

Ms. Karnette was elected to the California State Legislature in 1992 and served 6 years in the Assembly and 8 in the Senate where she chaired transportation, elections, arts, port/trade select committees, and served on education committees in both houses. While serving, she authored significant legislation in the areas of elections, transportation, and education that were subsequently signed into law.

In addition to an educational and political career, Ms. Karnette's community activities include, but are not limited to, California Democratic Party, Long Beach Anti-Poverty Association, Long Beach Memorial Hospital Children’s Clinic, Long Beach Playhouse, Operation Jump Start, National Women’s Political Caucus, Planned Parenthood, Long Beach Historical Society, and the Retired Teachers Associations (local, state, and national). In 1987, she was named Woman of the Year, 57th Assembly District.

Mariano Sanz

Mariano Sanz is a school counselor at Palos Verdes Intermediate School with the Palos Verdes School District. Born and raised in Spain, Mr. Sanz obtained a masters in psychology from the Universidad de Salamanca and in school psychology from the Universidad de Madrid.

For 25 years, Mr. Sanz has been a teacher and middle school counselor for various school districts in the Los Angeles area. He is involved in promoting full inclusion for students with disabilities both as an educator and as the parent of a young woman with developmental disabilities.

Mr. Sanz is a member of the Harbor Regional Center (HRC) Board of Trustees. He has served on the HRC board for more than 20 years in various capacities, including as president and state representative.

Barbara Schulman

Barbara Schulman believes she was born a teacher. She received her Bachelor of Sciences degree in special education from Southern Illinois University and currently serves as a special education teacher at the Saddleback Valley Unified School District in Mission Viejo.

Ms. Schulman’s passion for special education emphasizes the benefits of full inclusion in the classroom, extra-curricular activities, and in paid employment. She strives to instill confidence and self-awareness in her students as well as a desire to be contributing members of society.

Among her many accolades, in 2011, Ms. Schulman was awarded the Outstanding Contribution to Education Award from the Orange County Department of Education, a program that recognizes the contributions of individuals, groups, and organizations whose unique efforts have impacted the education of Orange County students.

Questions: Venetia Davis | | 916-323-9773 
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