General Session Speakers

Know Special Education in This School

Dr. Ellen M.E. Wedemeyerthe nationally published author of Know Special Education in This School! Five Keys to Help Teachers, Parents, and Administrators Reach, Teach and Raise Students with Learning or Behavior Challenges is a Professor of Special Education at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. As the former Assistant Superintendent for Special Education with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, she supported the administrators, teachers, students and families in 182 elementary schools, 20 high schools, 5 schools of special education, and many programs for students with special learning needs. Also a Board Certified Music Therapist, Dr. Wedemeyer founded the One Flock Choir, a choir of children with special needs.

After three years of writing a monthly column for the national newsletter of NCEA focusing on providing help to the Catholic school teacher and Catholic school administrator who are encountering students with special needs, she started the newsletter, One Flock Matters, the first newsletter for Catholic educators k-12 about meeting the needs of the diverse learner. As  a former member of the NCEA Executive Committee in Washington. D.C., Dr. Wedemeyer represented all the Catholic schools in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Amy Vaughan Van Hecke

 Amy Vaughan Van Hecke, Ph.D. teaches undergraduate Developmental Psychology: Conception through Adolescence, graduate and undergraduate Introduction to Statistics, and undergraduate Autism for the Professions (co-taught with Mary Carlson in Education and Wendy Krueger in Speech Pathology and Audiology) at Marquette University. She currently serves on the Executive Board of the Autism Society of Southeastern Wisconsin, the steering team of the statewide Community of Practice on Autism and Developmental Disabilities, and the Treatment and Intervention Advisory Committee at the Wisconsin Department of Health, Children’s Services Division. Dr. Van Hecke is co-chair, with Mikle South, PhD (Brigham Young University), and Marquette graduate student Alana McVey, of a Special Interest group on Anxiety in ASD that meets at the International Meeting for Autism Research annually.

Dr. Van Hecke’s specialty is developmental psychology and neuroscience, with an emphasis on typical and atypical social development across the lifespan. In particular, Dr. Van Hecke is interested in brain activity, heart rate regulation, and social behavior in infants, and in teenagers and young adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Her past studies have focused on topics such as the development of eye contact behavior, temperament, and social skills in typically developing infants, and the activation of the brain and regulation of the heart in response to familiar and unfamiliar people in children with high-functioning autism. 

Breakout Session Presenters



Virtual Learning Coordinator, Florida Diagnostic and LearningResources System (FDLRS) Administration Project

Susan Saunders's background in special education focused on using technology to support diverse learners and struggling students in the regular education classroom. She spent ten years teaching ESE students, ten years as a FDLRS Associate Center Technology Specialist and holds certification for Deaf Education (K-12), Media Specialist (K-12), and English (6 -12). During her twelve years at FDLRS, Susan has conducted professional development on Assistive Technology (AT), Instructional Technology (IT), Accessible Instructional Materials (AIM), Universal Design for Learning (UDL), and Differentiated Instruction (DI). She has presented at various local and state conferences, including the Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC), formerly known as the Florida Educational Technology Conference, the Florida Council for Exceptional Children Conference (FCEC), and the Florida Association of Staff Development (FASD). ​



President, Florida Behavior Consultants, Inc., Jacksonville, FL

Sarah Fernandez is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and founder of Florida Behavior Consultants, Inc. She earned a Master’s Degree in Practical Philosophy and Applied Ethics and a Master’s Degree in Special Education from the University of North Florida. She has more than 10 years’ experience working with individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities in a variety of settings, including family homes, schools, residential group homes and adult day training programs. Prior to becoming a BCBA she was a Supported Employment Specialist assisting adults with developmental disabilities secure competitive employment. Her main areas of interest include- transition services for young adults and adolescents, severe problem behaviors, staff training and vocational training.



Teacher, 2nd Grade, St. Paul's Riverside, Jacksonville, FL

Bobbie Rountree is a 1993 graduate from Bishop Kenny High School. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Jacksonville University and a Master of Science in Reading Diagnostics and Research from University of Florida. Mrs. Rountree has seventeen years of combined teaching experience in Pre-K, K,1st and 2nd grades.



ESE Teacher/Learning Support Director, San Juan del Rio Catholic School, Jacksonville, FL

Lori Hill is an ESE Teacher/Learning Support Director at San Juan Del Rio Catholic School in the Diocese of St. Augustine and a graduate of Bishop Kenny Catholic High School, class of 1993. She earned her Master of Science in 2001 in Specific Learning Disabilities and Emotional Handicaps from Florida State University and has worked in both public and private schools.



Director, Academic Support, Bishop Moore HS, Orlando, FL

Carol Guthrie earned a B.S. in physical education and health, an M.S. in varying exceptionalities and an Ed.S. in leadership and administration. During her more than 30 years in education, she has been a P.E. teacher, coach, classroom teacher, special education teacher, and an administrator. For the last 22 years she has worked with teachers, parents, and community resources to create inclusive programs for students with exceptionalities in both Catholic elementary and high schools. Her current position is Director of Academic Support at Bishop Moore High School with the Diocese of Orlando.



Clinical Director, Speech Language Pathologist, Orlando, FL

Pamela Rowe, MA, CCC-SLP is the Clinical Director of Pamela Rowe, MA, CCC-SLP, LLC, an adult and pediatric speech therapy practice in North and Central Florida. Pamela is co-author of Putting Your Dreams To Work; Keys To Setting Up Your Therapy Practice. She is a presenting speaker with many State ASHA Conventions and is a published author in Independent Clinician, ASHALeader and ASHASphere. Pamela enjoys partnering with various schools as a Business Community Partner and supervising graduate and CFY students in Central Florida. Pam is a graduate of Bishop Kenny High School in the Diocese of St. Augustine.



Director, Shepherd Educational Consulting (SEC)

Raúl Escarpio is an associate professor at Miami Dade College and director of Shepherd Educational Consulting (SEC). He started SEC to provide research based professional development, consultative and/or individualized services for professionals, faculty, and families who service Catholic individuals with special needs. He has a doctorate in special education and a master’s degree in early childhood special education. He is a product of Catholic education and is a passionate defender for the rights of all students with disabilities to attend and succeed in Catholic schools.



Clinical Director, Speech Language Pathologist, Apopka, FL

Adrienne Fuller is the Clinical Director of SpeechBuilders, Speech and Language Therapy, located in Apopka, FL. Before earning her degree from the University of New Hampshire, she was a middle school Special Education teacher, focusing on Specific Learning Disabilities. She recently has written her first book, Putting Your Dreams to Work, Keys to Setting up Your Therapy Private Practice with two of her collegues.



ESE Teacher and Team Leader, Clay County Schools

Jill Maunz has been a teacher of Early Childhood/Varying Exceptionalities for 23 years and has recently become experienced in working with students who are language impaired. In addition to her classroom position, she serves in several leadership roles in the Clay County School District, including directing pre-service teachers and interns, chairing a school advisory committee and acting as ESE team leader. Named Teacher of the Year in 1997, 2002 and 2012, Jill earned her Bachelor's Degree in Teaching, Mentally Handicapped (Grades K-12) and a Master's Degree in Disability Services from the University of North Florida and has a State of Florida Department of Education Prekindergarten Disabilities Endorsement.



Early Childhood ESE Paraprofessional, Clay County Schools

Mary has been a paraprofessional in Early Childhood/Varying Exceptionalities for the Clay County School District for 26 years. She has been working with Pre-K all but 3 years, when she worked with students with Language Impairments.



Principal, Morning Star Catholic School, Jacksonville, FL

Jean Barnes has a bachelor's degree in special education from the University of North Florida and a Master's degree in educational leadership. Jean has over 30 years experience in Special Education. She spent 10 years as a classroom teacher of varying exceptionalities. While teaching she was department chair and served on several diocesan curriculum development committees. Jean has been a mentor teacher and served as chair on numerous accreditation teams for the Florida Catholic Conference. Jean has presented several workshops on differentiated instruction to teachers in the diocese of St. Augustine. The last 17 years she has been an administrator at Morning Star School in Jacksonville, Fl. ​



ESE Teacher, Morning Star Catholic School, Jacksonville, FL

Natalie Bryan is a Physical Education Teacher in her 30th year at Morning Star Catholic School in Jacksonville Florida, the only Catholic Special Education School in the Diocese of St. Augustine. She is certified K-12 Physical Education with her Bachelor of Science from Jacksonville University and in the past year became certified in school counseling after completing her Master of Science Degree from Capella University. Natalie frequently integrates academic elements as well as cooperative learning and team building, striving to help students reach their academic, social, emotional, and physical potential.

Matthew Meunier, MA, BCBA, Owner, NoCal Behavioral Services


Matthew Meunier is a Senior Behavior Analyst and owner of NoCal Behavioral Services. Mr. Meunier obtained his undergraduate degree in Psychology from New England College in Henniker, NH. He completed his Master’s degree in Human Behavior from National University in La Jolla, CA. Mr. Meunier is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst who has a 16-year career spanning in executive, clinical and operational management for organizations in Florida, California, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and British Columbia Canada. He is a member of Florida Association for Behavior Analysis and has expertise working with children and young adults diagnosed with Autism, Severely Emotionally Disturbed, and other developmental disabilities. He has been responsible for the supervision, development, implementation and consultation of services in clinical, residential, in-home and school environments.