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Fellows Trained to Advance Leadership in Special Education

Sowmya Nath,'s picture
December 22, 2014

The Center for Innovation and Leadership in Special Education (CILSE) at Kennedy Krieger Institute began the second year of its interdisciplinary training program on July 1, 2014. The overall goal of CILSE is to mentor and train future special education leaders who have an advanced understanding of learning in children with neurodevelopmental disabilities, as well as expertise in applying this knowledge to school and classroom settings.

The program welcomes three fellows this year: Carrie Schiel, Lauren Taylor, and Alicia Woolf. Each has extensive experience working in public and private schools with individuals with neurodevelopmental disabilities. As part of the one-year program, the fellows receive core instruction from MCDD leaders Christopher Smith, Ph.D. and Maureen van Stone, Esq., M.S. Smith facilitates a course that allows for critical analysis of various data that drive leadership practices. Through instruction in research methods and design, the weekly discussions relate technical studies to current events in education, including high-stakes testing, the Common Core State Standards, and teacher and principal evaluations. In weekly meetings with van Stone, fellows read and analyze landmark education decisions that are the foundation of current educational practices and programming for children with disabilities. By working with van Stone, the Project HEAL staff, and other professionals in the field of advocacy, the fellows review and discuss current special education policies, practices, and procedures.

The program is co-directed by Dr. Nancy Grasmick, former superintendent of the Maryland State Department of Education and a Towson University presidential scholar, and Dr. Mark Mahone, director of neuropsychology at the Institute. By providing numerous experiential learning opportunities facilitated by experts in the fields of special education, neuroscience, behavioral science, neurodevelopmental disabilities, law, and research methods, this program provides its fellows with unique and comprehensive experiences.

Learn more about the Center for Innovation and Leadership in Special Education.

Lauren TaylorLauren Taylor

Lauren Taylor earned a bachelor's degree in special education from Towson University and a master's degree in special education from The Johns Hopkins University. Lauren is a teacher certified in both elementary education and special education. For the last eight years, she taught in the Howard County Public School System in both inclusion and self-contained settings. Lauren is interested in school-based leadership through school administration and professional development and mentoring of special educators at the district level.

Carrie SchielCarrie Schiel

Carrie Schiel earned a bachelor's degree in communication disorders at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and a master's degree in speech-language pathology at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. She has nine years of experience working as a speech-language pathologist in a variety of settings, including rural and urban public schools, acute rehabilitation facilities, private therapy, and home health. Carrie is interested in pursuing leadership opportunities in both school administration and speech-language pathology.

Alicia WoolfAlicia Woolf

Alicia Woolf earned a bachelor's degree in special education and a master's degree in education from the University of Maryland, College Park. Alicia is a certified teacher in special education, secondary mathematics, and elementary education, and has taught students with developmental and emotional disabilities in Montgomery County Public Schools. She worked for several years with counselors in training and as assistant program director for Camp Attaway, a nonprofit organization in Howard County for children with emotional and behavioral disorders. Alicia's primary interests are teacher preparation and secondary transition services for young adults with disabilities.