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Members and contributors for the 2015 Statewide Task Force on Special Education.


Acknowledgments (current page)



  1. Early Learning
  2. Evidence-Based School and Classroom Practices
  3. Educator Preparation and Professional Learning
  4. Assessment
  5. Accountability
  6. Family and Student Engagement
  7. Special Education Financing





Dr. Fred Weintraub initially co-chaired the California Statewide Task Force on Special Education. This report is dedicated to his memory. August 28, 1942–May 2, 2014.

For the leadership and support of the Task Force:

  • Michael Kirst, President, State Board of Education
  • Linda Darling-Hammond, Chair, California Commission on Teacher Credentialing
  • Tom Torlakson, State Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Karen Stapf-Walters, Executive Director, State Board of Education
  • Mary Sandy, Executive Director, California Commission on Teacher Credentialing
  • Rich Zeiger, Deputy Superintendent, California Department of Education

For providing liaisons to the Task Force:

  • California Department of Education
  • California Commission on Teacher Credentialing California Legislature
  • Department of Finance
  • Legislative Analyst's Office
  • State Board of Education

For chairing the Task Force:

  • Carl Cohn

For providing the student perspective:

  • Hyla Rachwal

For helping to develop the final summary and report:

  • Daniela Sahar Berman
  • Richard Colvin
  • Miriam Freedman
  • Mary Grady
  • Tom Hehir
  • Terena Mares
  • Alice Parker
  • Loriann Villanis
  • Julie White
  • Kristin Wright

For providing organizational support:

  • San Mateo County Office of Education
  • Sacramento County Office of Education
  • California County Superintendents Educational Services Association
  • WestEd
  • Apple, Incorporated

The following individuals served as members of this Statewide Task Force on Special Education:

Executive Directors

  • Vicki L. Barber, Retired Superintendent, El Dorado County Office of Education
  • Maureen O’Leary Burness, Retired Assistant Superintendent, Folsom-Cordova Unified School District

Task Force Members:

  • Carl Cohn, Chair, State Board of Education, Claremont Graduate University
  • Marta Anchondo, Executive Director, Team of Advocates for Special Kids (TASK)
  • Mark Archon, IT Specialist, Fresno County Office of Education
  • Lucia Arias, Special Education Teacher, Los Angeles Unified School District
  • Catherine Blakemore, Executive Director, Disability Rights California
  • Tony Booker, Assistant Principal, Crenshaw High School
  • Todd Brose, Superintendent, Antelope Elementary School District
  • Mildred Browne, Education Consultant, San Francisco Unified School District, Retired Assistant Superintendent and Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) Director
  • Cindy Chandler, Executive Director, Family SOUP
  • Douglas Fisher, Professor, San Diego State University
  • Tanya Golden, Teacher, ABC Unified School District
  • Michael Gomez, Principal, Romoland Elementary School
  • David Gordon, Superintendent, Sacramento County Office of Education
  • Victoria Graf, Professor of Special Education, Loyola Marymount University
  • Ann Halvorsen, Professor, California State University, East Bay
  • Nancy Hurlbut, Associate Dean, Cal Poly Pomona College of Education and Integrative Studies
  • Sara Jocham, Assistant Superintendent Special Education, Capistrano Unified Advisory Commission on Special Education
  • Doreen Lohnes, Assistant Superintendent Support Services, Santa Ana Unified
  • Matt Navo, Superintendent, Sanger Unified School District
  • Sam Neustadt, Assistant Superintendent, SELPA, Solano County Office of Education
  • Carolyn Nunes, Director of Special Education, San Diego County Office of Education
  • Linda James Perry, Director (Retired), Head Start, Long Beach Unified School District
  • Gina Plate, Vice Chair, Advisory Commission on Special Education
  • Lihi Rosenthal, Director of Special Education, Seneca Family of Agencies
  • Mary Samples, Assistant Superintendent SELPA, Ventura County Office of Education
  • Patty Schetter, Project Coordinator, Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (CEDD) at the UC Davis MIND Institute
  • Barbara Schulman, Special Education Teacher, Saddleback Valley Unified School District, Advisory Commission on Special Education
  • Sue Shalvey, Special Education Director, Aspire Public Schools
  • Nancy Snodgrass, Bilingual Special Education Teacher, Turlock Unified School District
  • Dee Torrington, Resource Specialist, Granite Oaks Middle School, CARS+, Sacramento County Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment (BTSA)
  • Anna Marie Villalobos, Director of Special Education, San Mateo County Office of Education
  • Michael Watkins, Superintendent, Santa Cruz County Office of Education
  • Rande Webster, Associate Dean, Professor of Special Education, School of Education and Counseling, Dominican University

Ex Officio Members:

  • Brooks Allen, Deputy Policy Director, State Board of Education
  • Fred Balcom, Director of Special Education, California Department of Education
  • Teri Clark, Director of Professional Services, Commission on Teacher Credentialing
  • Bob Loux, Consultant, California Commission on Teacher Credentialing
  • Beth Rice, Education Programs Consultant, State Board of Education
  • Erika Webb-Hughes, Federal Policy Liaison, California Department of Education

Legislative and State Agency Contacts:

  • Susanna Cooper California State Senate
  • Rachel Ehlers, Legislative Analyst’s Office
  • Diana Glick, California State Assembly
  • Lisa Mierczynski, Department of Finance
  • Jill Rice, California State Assembly
  • Rick Simpson, California State Assembly
  • Jen Troia, California State Senate

Note: Individuals are identified in the roles that they were fulfilling at the time the Task Force work was being completed.

Questions:   Special Education Division | | 916-445-4613
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, November 02, 2021
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