Dana is a Statewide Lead in our Open Access AAC project. Before coming to Placer County, she has provided support for people who use AAC in school, clinic, hospital, home, and community settings in addition to teaching coursework and providing clinical education at the college level. Dana is passionate about bringing research and best practices to the resources and training materials that support our Open Access AAC projects, and to making sure these practices reach our students in ways to impact their lives. She is our “go to” when we need to go deep into a topic or to help structure and organize “big” work. When not at work, you’ll likely find Dana dashing between activities with her kids or with her tap shoes on.
Jennifer Boettger, M.A. Ed (Statewide Lead)
Jennifer is a Statewide Lead in our Open Access UDL project. She is a seasoned educator, having spanned both the general education and special education sides of our system in a range of roles (Secondary English Teacher, from traditional high school, AP coursework and alternative education; Educational Specialist; TOSA; Program Specialist). She joined the Open Access team to lead our training and coaching efforts in UDL, which is her passion. Jennifer is passionate about UDL Implementation...supporting site teams in not only learning about UDL but building the culture and practices necessary to make it stick. Jennifer is known for being able to “roll with the punches” and is always willing to jump in where needed. Outside of work you’ll find her gardening, reading (usually about UDL!) and being a “fur”baby mom to her mini-schnauzer, Gatsby.
Kimberly Duer, M.A.,CCC-SLP (Statewide Lead)
Kim is a Statewide Lead in our Open Access AAC project. She recently joined Placer County as an AAC Specialist, but has been part of our regional network of speech-language pathologists implementing AAC in a local high school district. Kim is enthusiastic about assisting educational teams in the implementation of AAC tools and strategies and will tell you her favorite part of the process is the relationships she builds with her teams. She is a creative problem-solver and a master at finding “what works” to unlock her student’s communication potential. When Kim wants to re-energize, she enjoys relaxing with family in Lake Tahoe or taking her two yellow labs, Teddy and Cassie, for a walk.
Bryan Givens, SLPA (AT Provider)
As an AT Provider, Bryan supports our Open Access projects as well as teams and students throughout our county in numerous ways, including technical support, training, material development and working with students. He is currently juggling all of that while completing the final year in his Masters in Speech Language Pathology program! Bryan is skillful with technology, and about helping to figure out solutions to complex problems which will serve him well as he transitions into new roles in the fields of AT and AAC. When he is not busy juggling all that he has going on with school and work, you will find him either watching or playing baseball.
Jillian King, M.A., CCC- SLP (Lead Consultant)
Jillian is the Senior Director of the Open Access project. She has been with Placer County SELPA for 22 years, in the roles of Program Specialist, AT Program Manager and SELPA Support Coordinator prior to this project. She came from the Bay Area having been part of the start up and development of the Bridge School, an organization to support students in the Bay Area while building global outreach around educational innovations for students with severe speech and physical impairments. Jillian has dedicated many years to developing programs which provide much needed training and resources to local, regional and now statewide educators. By doing this, she is helping to ensure that ALL students have access to meaningful learning opportunities and full participation in their educations. Outside of work, Jillian can be found on her e-bike, planning her next travel adventure with her husband or grown kids, and is in the early stages of designing and building a home “with a view” for retirement.
Jill McCann, M.S., SpEd. (Statewide Lead)
Jill is a Statewide Lead in our Open Access AT project, but wears many hats including Educational Technology Specialist, Assistive Technology Specialist, Graphic Designer and Web Designer. Jill has been with Placer County for 20 years, supporting our development of resources, training and coaching materials, and working with teams to ensure access to the digital tools and assistive technology supports that are needed. She keeps us abreast of what is current and cutting edge, and has a skill for taking complex information and making it accessible (and visually beautiful!). You will see Jill’s touch throughout the materials we have developed. When not at work, Jill is a working artist and you will find her either in her art studio, painting a mural somewhere or keeping up with her garden, goats and chickens.
Brittany Metz, SLPA (AT Provider)
Brittany is an AT Provider in our program, and the person who keeps our AAC Team afloat! We haven’t yet discovered something Brittany can’t do, and she is always willing to jump in make sure the Open Access team, and our staff and students across Placer County have what they need when they need it. Her skills will take her far in her career and we have high expectations of where she is heading! Brittany is a new mom to her second child, a daughter and little sister to an active toddler. So if you wonder what she is doing when not at work...just take a guess!
Ginger Mitchell, M.A.,CCC-SLP (Statewide Lead)
Ginger is a Statewide Lead in our Open Access AAC project. She has been an AAC Specialist with Placer County Office of Education for the past 10 years, and with the county in a speech-language pathologist role for 17 years. Ginger is highly regarded for her thoughtfulness and focus on the needs of students, families and the professionals she supports and her ability to build relationships and get teams working together. She enjoys supporting team development, facilitating IEP teams in our region through challenging situations and supporting AAC Regional Lead teams as they begin their capacity building journeys. Whenever the opportunity arises, you'll find Ginger in Maine (or daydreaming that she is in Maine)...knitting and spinning fiber creations in her family’s home on the coast.
Leah Padilla, M.A. Ed (Trainer)
Leah is a trainer in our Open Access UDL project. She is also a Program Specialist in Placer County, supporting districts, parents, teachers and students with a range of supports. Leah has over 20 years of experience supporting students in a variety of settings as a teacher, in both general and special education. She has expertise in the area of literacy and enjoys teaching prospective teachers in best practices for literacy instruction. Leah loves the focus on developing expert learners in the UDL framework and the ability it gives our learners to be successful on their own terms. Leah is a mom of three active young boys and stays busy attending soccer and baseball games.
Melanie Purdy (Administrative Support)
Melanie provides administrative support to all of our Open Access projects and serves in this role for the SELPA as a whole. She has been with the SELPA for 12 years, and is truly the glue that holds it all together! Melanie provides support to our budgeting, travel planning, website upkeep and material development and distribution, but really is there for anything we need. She is extremely well-organized and brings so much energy and positivity to our team. When not working, Melanie can be found socializing with friends, traveling any chance she gets with her husband, and balancing two grown kids with an active (and very busy!) 4th grader who hasn’t found a sport he doesn’t like!
Tracy is a Statewide Lead in our Open Access AT and AAC projects. She recently joined Placer County as an AT/AAC Specialist, having moved to Northern California from the San Diego Region. Tracy participated as a Lead in our Open Access AAC project with North Inland SELPA. Tracy’s has 15 years experience as an SLP crossing Pre-K through high school aged students, with the last ten years focussed on AT/AAC. Tracy has a passion for coaching whether it is sports or educational teams, which makes her a great fit for this work! When Tracy is not engrossed in capacity building, you can find her on the golf course or on a mountain bike/dirt bike trail.
Troy Tickle (Assistant Superintendent)
Troy is the Assistant Superintendent for Placer County SELPA, and our interface with SELPAs across the state as well as our grantors, CDE and CCEE. Troy handles all things fiscal, and will be working with the team on digging deep into the metrics we’ve collected to answer “big” questions about building capacity across evidence-based practices (our charge with this project). Troy has been with Placer County SELPA for the past 5 years, having come from Kern County SELPA as a Coordinator, and a prior educational career as a speech-language pathologist. Troy and his wife, who is a speech-language pathologist in Placer County, keep busy with three very active school-aged kids involved in a lot of extra-curricular activities!
Jennifer Wright, M.A.,CCC-SLP (Program Specialist & Statewide Lead)
Jennifer is a Program Specialist assigned to support the work of the Open Access projects, in addition to being a Statewide Lead in the Open Access AAC project. Jennifer has been a member of our PCOE AAC team for 15 years, with prior experience supporting student’s needs with communication across a range of grade spans. We depend on Jennifer for her high energy and capacity to tackle anything! She goes into every situation ready to ignite enthusiasm and build people’s confidence in doing this exciting work. Somehow Jennifer manages to find the time and energy to be the Club Director for the Auburn Aces Volleyball Club while also figuring out how to adjust to an empty nest as both of her girls left for the East coast for college this year. It’s a good thing we’re keeping her so busy!