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The Board of Education Advisory Councils

The Special Education Advisory Council

Under both the Massachusetts General Laws (c. 15, §1G) and federal regulations (34 CFR § 300.167), the Department is required to establish and maintain a Special Education Advisory Council composed of individuals involved in or concerned with the education of children with disabilities. In existence for over 30 years, the council's membership has included a diverse group of individuals reflecting both the state and federal statutory requirements of membership, including agency designees. The responsibilities of the Special Education Advisory Council include:

  1. advising on unmet needs within the state in the education of children with disabilities;
  2. commenting on proposed rules and regulations involving special education;
  3. advising in developing evaluations and corrective action plans; and
  4. assisting in the coordination of services to children with disabilities.

Special Education Advisory Council Documents

View HTML Page
Child First Memo
Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
Child-First Practice When Serving Students with Disabilities in Educational Setting

Council Members

The Special Education Advisory Council is composed of members appointed by the Commissioner on behalf of the Board of Education. Appointment to the Council is for a three-year term, and no member may serve more than two terms. Over half of the voting members are individuals with a disability or a parent of a child with a disability. Membership is presently comprised of local education officials, teachers, and representatives from higher education, charter schools, special education schools, and organizations that provide transition services to children with disabilities. A reasonable balance of business, civic, labor, and professional groups, and geographic areas, is currently maintained.

NameTitleInstitution
Nicole BaumerNeurodevelopmental Disabilities ResidentChildren's Hospital Boston
Mary Dennehy-ColorussoProcedural Safeguard CoordinatorDepartment of Public Health, DPH designee
Ruth DiazParent Training & Information Center DirectorFederation for Children with Special Needs
Colleen DolanExecutive Director the EDCO Collaborative, Massachusetts Organization of Educational Collaboratives designee
David DrakeHeadmasterThe White Oak School, Massachusetts Association of 766 Approved Private Schools designee
Janet GeorgeAsst. Commissioner, Policy Planning & Children's ServicesDepartment of Developmental Disability Services, DDS designee
Gail HavelickDirector, SSI and Public Benefits Training and Technical AssistanceDepartment of Public Health, DPH designee
Carla B. JentzExecutive DirectorMassachusetts Administrators for Special Education
Christine KenneyDirector of Educational ServicesDepartment of Youth Services, DYS designee
Donna LehrAssociate Dean of Academic AffairsBoston University
Melanie McLaughlinParent RepresentativeMedford, MA
Susan MoyseParent RepresentativeMarshfield, MA
Mary MurrayDYS RepresentativeDepartment of Youth Services, DYS Designee
Evelyn NellumPolicy AnalystDepartment of Early Education and Care, EEC designee
Yasmin OteroRegional DirectorDepartment of Transitional Assistance, DTA designee
Kathleen PaytonDCF Central Office Statewide 688 CoordinatorDepartment of Children and Families, DCF Designee
Joan PhillipsAssistant CommissionerMassachusetts Rehabilitation Commission, MRC Designee
Teresita RamosParent Representative & Council Co-ChairWellesley, MA
Sean RobertsParent RepresentativeHalifax, MA
Darcy RubinoParent RepresentativeNorth Andover, MA
Sarah SlautterbackSpecialistESE Office for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth
Jean SperaAssistant Director, Office of Special EducationCambridge Public Schools, Mass Urban designee
Martha TestaSpeech Language Pathologist Whitman-Hanson Regional School District
Cory MikolazykOut of District and In-District Specialized Programs CoordinatorNorton Public Schools
Dean Starbuck BragonierParent Representative and Disability AdvocateCambridge, MA
Andrea StolarDirector of Special EducationChicopee, MA
Renee TothParent RepresentativeByfield, MS

FY2016-2017 Meeting Schedule

DateLocationTimeAgendaMinutes
October 11, 2016Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel
181 Boston Post Road, Marlborough, MA 01752
9:00 AM – 1:00 PM  
December 13, 2016Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel
181 Boston Post Road, Marlborough, MA 01752
9:00 AM – 1:00 PM  
March 14, 2017Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel
181 Boston Post Road, Marlborough, MA 01752
9:00 AM – 1:00 PM  
May 9, 2017Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel
181 Boston Post Road, Marlborough, MA 01752
9:00 AM – 1:00 PM  

Contact Information

For further information, including meeting agendas/minutes, please contact:

Paul Bottome
Liaison to the Special Education Advisory Council
781-338-3376



Last Updated: September 16, 2016
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