Dr. Laurie Balsano Wright is the Coordinator of Facilitated Improvement and Support at PCOE. Her essential responsibilities include developing and implementing an integrated, coherent system of resources, interventions, and support in the areas of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and Continuous Improvement. Prior to being a Coordinator for PCOE, Laurie was a site principal of a program improvement school within a district identified for Differentiated Assistance, International Baccalaureate Coordinator, Intervention Teacher, facilitator of professional development, and teacher. Laurie brings knowledge and experience from her work at school sites on instructional leadership, student access and engagement, and collaborative practices. She holds a Doctorate in Organizational Innovation from National University. Her impact as a change agent has resulted in sustained performance improvement by strengthening organizational culture and whole systems thinking focused on continuous improvement within the educational setting. Laurie strongly believes in educating the whole child, understanding individual student needs and development, and encouraging staff growth by supporting professional development, building capacity, and facilitating positive change.
Jennifer Boettger, M.A. Ed (Statewide Lead)
Jennifer is a Program Specialist with the Placer County SELPA and 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; Instructional Coach; 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 spending time with family and friends.
Jill McCann, M.S., SpEd. (Statewide Lead)
Jill is a Program Specialist and Statewide Lead with the 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 23 years, supporting the 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 abreast of what is current and cutting edge, and has a skill for taking complex information and making it accessible (and visually beautiful!). 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.
Leah Padilla, M.A. Ed (Coordinator)
Leah is a Coordinator of Facilitated Improvement and Support for the Open Access project. She previously was Program Specialist at Placer County SELPA, 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!
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 (Statewide Lead)
Jennifer is a Program Specialist and 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 this amazing work is keeping her so busy!