Southeast Comprehensive Center

Previous Work — October 2005 to September 2012

These resources were published under a previous SECC contract; therefore, information contained therein may have changed and is not updated.

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Jazzin' It up: A Medley of Notes for Creating a CultureThat Supports English Language Learners

Presenter Information

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Kristina Anstrom

Kristina Anstrom, EdD, is the assistant director for the George Washington University Center for Equity and Excellence in Education (GW-CEEE) and is co-principal investigator for the Center's project entitled Identifying the Academic Language Demands of Secondary Science and Mathematics Standards for English Language Learners (ELLs). Dr. Anstrom has been involved in the education of ELLs as a teacher, researcher, and teacher educator for over 20 years, with a focus on designing more inclusive curricula and learning environments for ELLs. She has been the project director for several federally funded projects relevant to the education of ELLs and literacy, including a research study of literacy development in adolescent ELLs. Dr. Anstrom also has authored a number of reports and articles on integrating language and content for ELLs and approaches to the instruction and assessment of ELLs in mainstream contexts. Dr. Anstrom is the coauthor of a literacy textbook for ELLs entitled Keys to Learning, second edition, which was recently published by Pearson Education Inc.

Darlene Morgan Brown

In her current role as a program associate in the Improving School Performance program of the Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) at SEDL, Darlene Morgan Brown, PhD, serves as liaison for the state of Louisiana. As a mother and former educator in the Louisiana public school system, her mission is to contribute to the creation of an excellent and equitable public education system for all students. Prior to joining SEDL, Dr. Brown served as the director of the Capital One/University of New Orleans (UNO) Charter School Network and as an assistant professor of professional practice in the College of Education, Educational Leadership and Counseling Department at UNO. She has more than 10 years of school improvement experience, working with more than 50 schools and 20 school districts at the local, regional, state, and national levels. Dr. Brown retired in May 2008, with 25 years of experience and a background in both general and special education. Her areas of expertise include instructional leadership, school improvement and restructuring, professional development, group dynamics, inquiry-based instruction, and data-driven differentiated instruction. Dr. Brown received her bachelor's degree as a speech, language, and hearing specialist from Northeast Louisiana University, currently operating as the University of Louisiana at Monroe. She earned her master's degree in educational administration and doctor of philosophy degree from UNO.

Ramona Chauvin

Ramona Chauvin, PhD, is a program associate with SEDL’s Improving School Performance program. Prior to joining SEDL in 2008, Dr. Chauvin was a Region II Reading First Regional Coordinator for the Louisiana State Department of Education (LDE) and a program director of Western Washington University’s K-8 Teacher Education Program in Everett, Washington. She also has over 25 years of classroom experience as a teacher in grades 5-12 and 13 years of experience in higher education institutions in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Washington. In 2000, Dr. Chauvin was the senior writer/researcher for Reading Links, a PreK-6 collaborative project, which was part of a federal program entitled Linking Educational Reform and Educational Technology, for the Washington State Office of Superintendent of Education and the Washington Alliance for Better Schools. Dr. Chauvin also served as a lead writer with the Washington Alliance for Better Schools for the creation of Secondary Reading Strategies: Tools and Strategies for Improving Reading in Content Areas, a set of teacher handbooks (i.e., general reading, mathematics, science, and social studies) to be used as part of staff development for middle and high school teachers, coaches, and administrators. Dr. Chauvin holds a doctoral degree from UNO in curriculum and instruction with a focus on teacher development, adult learning, narrative inquiry, and educational administration. Her master’s degree is in curriculum and instruction with a focus in reading from UNO and her bachelor's degree in English education is from Nicholls State University of Louisiana.

Glenda Copeland

Glenda Copeland, MA, is a program associate with SEDL’s Improving School Performance program. Ms. Copeland oversees the planning and delivery of technical assistance and professional development in Georgia and assists in providing similar services to other states that SECC serves. In her previous work with SEDL, she was a member of the Regional Laboratory Network Program (which developed Facilitating Systemic Change in Science and Mathematics Education: A Tool Kit for Professional Developers and A Tool Kit for Professional Developers: Alternative Assessment) and a member of both the Eisenhower Mathematics and Science Consortia as well as the National Model Professional Development Award Program, helping to plan the selection process and manage the site visit process for the U.S. Department of Education (ED). Ms. Copeland also led the development and production of Flashlight and Compass: A Collection of Tools to Promote Instructional Coherence for SEDL’s Promoting Instructional Coherence (PIC) project. As project director of a national comprehensive middle and high school improvement program, she focused on leadership development and building collaborative relationships. Prior to joining SEDL in 1992, Ms. Copeland coordinated district gifted programs in social studies, language arts, and mathematics for the Austin Independent School District (AISD) in Austin, Texas, and was a classroom teacher (K-12) for 12 years. Her degrees are in secondary education, mental retardation, and gifted education.

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Margo K. DeLaune

Since 1974, Margo DeLaune, MEd, has worked for the Georgia Department of Education as the Title I, Part A, program manager and more recently as the title programs director. Ms. DeLaune has worked within the ED with the National Advisory Council for Indian Education and the Smithsonian Institute with the Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) program. She also has implemented discretionary grants received from the Indian Education Program within the ED and implemented other programs. Ms. DeLaune has served as an assistant dean at Colorado College and as the Gibson County director for a satellite campus of Dyersburg State Community College in Tennessee. Ms. DeLaune has a master's degree in education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Gail Del Greco

Gail Del Greco, MEd, has 17 years of teaching experience in English as a Second Language (ESL) and holds certifications in elementary education, ESL and as a reading specialist. As an educator of ELLs, Ms. Del Greco has established and opened ESL programs at new sites and has coordinated and implemented the following initiatives: staff development for parent workshops in emergent literacy, sheltered instruction strategies for ELLs, reading strategies in the Title I reading program, the use of reading inventories, programs for new classroom teachers and staff on ESL methodology, and curriculum development for ELLs applying whole language and sheltered instruction techniques. She has been an educator and advocate for ELLs in Colorado, Florida, Maryland and North Carolina. Ms. Del Greco also was employed at the Frank Porter Graham Institute in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where she gained valuable experience as a consultant with Partners for Literacy, an initiative of Classroom Literacy Intervention Outcomes, a national evaluation in collaboration with the ED to support Even Start Family Literacy programs. Presently, she is employed as an associate at the Center for the Education and Study of Diverse Populations at New Mexico Highlands University in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She is currently working with both the Texas Comprehensive Center (TXCC) and the SECC at SEDL, whose work focuses on building capacity of state departments of education to meet the goals and purposes of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB). Ms. Del Greco received her master's degree in education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with an emphasis on literacy education. She also has a bachelor's degree in elementary education as well as a master's degree in English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).

Patricia DiCerbo

Patricia DiCerbo, EdD, is a staff research scientist and ELL specialist at the George Washington University Center for Equity and Excellence in Education and is project director for the Center's project entitled Identifying the Academic Language Demands of Secondary Science and Mathematics Standards for ELLs. Dr. DiCerbo has taught English, English as a Second Language, and English as a Foreign Language to adolescents and adults. She also has conducted research on middle and high school classrooms as part of the first Descriptive Study of Services to Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Students for the Office of English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement, and Academic Achievement for LEP students. Dr. DiCerbo has worked with middle and high school teachers of English learners in the United States, India, and Pakistan and has worked at the National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition and Language Instruction Educational Programs for 8 years. Prior to this, she served as the project director for the National Council of La Raza Latino Literacy Training Institutes for secondary school teachers of English, mathematics, science, and social studies and served as the project lead for the South Asian Teacher Training Project, funded by the U.S. Department of State. Dr. DiCerbo has a doctorate from George Washington University in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis on second language literacy and a master's degree from the University at Albany, State University of New York, in teaching ESOL.

Robin Jarvis

Robin Jarvis, PhD, is program manager of SEDL’s Improving School Performance program. She oversees the work of SEDL’s Metairie, Louisiana, office and serves as the director of the SECC. Prior to coming to SEDL, Dr. Jarvis served as the acting superintendent of the Recovery School District in New Orleans. Previous positions with the LDE include program manager with the Distinguished Educator Program; director of the Division of Professional Development; director of the Division of School Standards, Accountability, and Assistance; and assistant superintendent of the Office of Student and School Performance. In these roles, Dr. Jarvis worked with accountability, curriculum, assessment, and special education issues in Louisiana and served as state director for various federal programs, including Titles I, II, and V, as well as Reading First. She has 13 years’ experience in K-12 public education as an elementary school principal and as a K-3 classroom teacher in East Baton Rouge Parish. Dr. Jarvis holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in elementary education with a focus in early childhood education. She received her PhD in educational leadership and research with a research emphasis on school effectiveness and school improvement in 1998.

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Carol Johnson

Carol Johnson, EdS, is the Title III program specialist for the Georgia Department of Education (GDE) and has primary responsibility for ESOL curriculum development, instructional support, the Department's ESOL web page and resource guide, and ESOL-focused professional learning opportunities for Georgia's teachers. Ms. Johnson facilitates the application and registration process for the online ESOL endorsement program that is offered to teachers in the Georgia Title III Consortium, a group of 86 school districts with low-incidence ELL populations. Previously, she served as the Department's Title III consortium manager and monitor. As an educator with more than 30 years of experience, Ms. Johnson has always been involved with second language acquisition, first as a foreign language teacher, and later in the field of ESOL. Prior to her tenure at the GDE, she served as the ESOL consultant for a large Metropolitan Atlanta school district, coordinating the ESOL programs for 108 schools. In addition to an education specialist's degree in educational administration and supervision, Ms. Johnson has endorsements in the areas of ESOL and gifted education.

Laureen Laglagaron

Laureen Laglagaron, JD, is a policy analyst at the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) and director of the MPI’s internship program. Ms. Laglagaron's work focuses on initiatives of the National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy, which includes research and writing on K-12 education, adult language and literacy, language access, citizenship, and state and local governance. Prior to joining the MPI, Ms. Laglagaron practiced immigration and family law in San Francisco, California, as an Equal Justice Works Fellow at Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach. As part of her fellowship, she designed and implemented a project to deliver free legal services to the Greater Bay Area's low-income Filipino immigrant population. Prior to this, Ms. Laglagaron worked at the Urban Institute where she coauthored "Social Rights and Citizenship" (with the MPI's Michael Fix), a report of the Working Group on Social Rights and Citizenship for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Comparative Citizenship Project. Ms. Laglagaron has a juris doctor degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law where she received a certificate from the program in public interest law and policy. She also has a bachelor's degree in economics and sociology/anthropology from Swarthmore College.

Sandra R. Lindsay

Sandra Lindsay, EdD, is currently serving as a clinical professor in the Education Leadership and Policies Department of the College of Education at the University of South Carolina. From 1999-2004, Dr. Lindsay served as the deputy state superintendent for curriculum services and assessment at the South Carolina Department of Education. At the local school district level, she served for 27 years in leadership roles in Dorchester School District Two, including assistant superintendent for instruction for 16 years. Dr. Lindsay has assumed numerous statewide leadership roles including the presidency of both the South Carolina Association of School Superintendents and the South Carolina Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Teaching about leadership and helping leaders improve their skills and knowledge are ongoing commitments for Dr. Lindsay. She has received numerous awards and honors for her work with public schools and has served at the national level as president of the Deputies Leadership Commission of the Council of Chief State School Officers. Dr. Lindsay has a doctorate in education in curriculum and instruction from the University of South Carolina, a master's degree in education from The Citadel, and a bachelor's degree in history from Winthrop College.

Mary Lou Meadows

Mary Lou Meadows, EdD, is a program associate with SEDL’s Improving School Performance program. Dr. Meadows oversees the planning and delivery of technical assistance and professional development in Alabama and assists in providing similar services to other states that the SECC serves. Prior to her work with the SECC, she provided similar services to the Center while working for SEDL's SECAC project from 2002-2006. Before joining SEDL, she retired from the University of North Alabama (UNA) in Florence with 34 years in the field of education. Dr. Meadows has taught grades K-5 as well as college courses at UNA and Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro. She also served as the associate director of the Education Research and Inservice Center at UNA. Dr. Meadows holds a master’s degree in elementary and early childhood from UNA and a doctorate in elementary and early childhood from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

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Debra Meibaum

Debra Meibaum, MA, is a program associate with SEDL’s Improving School Performance program. Ms. Meibaum oversees the planning and delivery of technical assistance and professional development in Mississippi and assists in providing similar services to other states served by the SECC. Her specialty area is NCLB. Prior to joining SEDL in 1996, Ms. Meibaum worked at the MDE for 13 years—10 years in desegregation and bilingual education/ESL programs and 3 years in special education/speech pathology. She also worked for 7.5 years in the public school systems of Mississippi and Louisiana. Ms. Meibaum has a master's degree in speech pathology from Tulane University of New Orleans, Louisiana, and a bachelor's degree in elementary education and speech correction from Southeastern Louisiana University. She also has earned Mississippi certification in elementary administration and special subject supervisor.

Mabel Rivera

Mabel Rivera, PhD, is a research assistant professor at the Texas Institute for Measurement, Evaluation, and Statistics in the University of Houston. Currently, Dr. Rivera is the deputy director of the Center on Instruction- English Language Learners Strand. Prior to accepting this position, she was an assistant professor at the Department of Childhood Education, Reading, and Disability Services at Florida State University. At Florida State, Dr. Rivera taught graduate and undergraduate courses in the teacher preparation program, focusing on characteristics and methods for teaching students with disabilities. She also is a former teacher of students with emotional/behavioral disorders in the public school system. Dr. Rivera's current research interests include the education and prevention of reading difficulties in ELLs and students with disabilities. In addition, she engages in local and national service activities related to preparing personnel to teach students with special needs and presents at national and state conferences.

Margarita (Maggie) Rivas

Maggie Rivas, MA, is a program associate with SEDL's Southeast Comprehensive Center Improving School Performance program. Ms. Rivas provides technical assistance, training and resources, and ongoing support to state education agencies (SEAs) in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina. Through this work, she helps SEAs to assist school district level staff with identifying, selecting, and using scientifically-based research regarding what works in instruction for pre-school, elementary, middle, and high school students, particularly ELL populations. Ms. Rivas also conducts training to address family and community involvement issues, with an emphasis on outreach to diverse families. During her career at SEDL, Ms. Rivas has worked with the Multifunctional Resource Center and as a senior trainer for the Follow Through Program. Prior to joining SEDL in 1975, Ms. Rivas was a bilingual teacher in the Edgewood schools; taught fourth grade in a corporate-run school in Tia Juana, Venezuela; and taught elementary classes in Brownsville and Los Fresnos, Texas. Ms. Rivas has a bachelor's degree in elementary education and sociology from Texas Women’s University and a master's degree in early childhood education from the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Edynn Sato

Edynn Sato, PhD, is the director of research and ELL Assessment in the Assessment and Standards Development Services program as well as the director of special populations for the Assessment and Accountability Comprehensive Center at WestEd. Dr. Sato's areas of focus include large-scale, high-stakes test development for general education and special needs students, alignment and linkage studies, and research and consultation to states and other organizations related to the assessment and accountability of ELLs and students with disabilities. Dr. Sato received a bachelor's degree in multidisciplinary studies (elementary education) from Santa Clara University and both a master's degree and a doctorate in educational psychology from the University of California at Los Angeles.

Robin Scarcella

Robin Scarcella, PhD, is a professor at the University of California at Irvine where she also serves as the director of the program in academic English and ESL. Dr. Scarcella has written over 60 scholarly publications on ESL teaching and L2 (ESL) acquisition, edited numerous volumes, and written many methodology books and textbooks. Since 2004, she has provided professional development workshops to over 10,000 elementary and secondary teachers. Her most recent volume is Accelerating Academic English. Dr. Scarcella also has written over 20 articles on ESL teaching and L2 acquisition, edited three volumes, and written one book. Her articles have appeared in such journals as the TESOL quarterly, Language Learning, as well as Brain and Language and Second Language Research. In addition, Dr. Scarcella has been a guest lecturer at more than 20 institutes and universities including the Center for Applied Linguistics, the Foreign Language Institute, Stanford University, and the University of Hawaii. She received a doctoral degree in linguistics at the University of Southern California and a masters' degree in second language acquisition-education from Stanford University.

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Maria Torres

Maria Torres, MA, is a program associate with SEDL’s Improving School Performance program. Prior to her current work with both the Southeast and Texas Comprehensive Centers, she worked with SEDL’s Southwest Consortium for the Improvement of Mathematics and Science Teaching, Rural Small Schools Initiative, and the Center for Language Minority Populations Projects. Before joining SEDL, Ms. Torres served as a superintendent of schools, a bilingual project director, an elementary school reading supervisor, a staff development specialist, and a classroom teacher at the elementary, middle school, and secondary grade levels. She also has been a program administrator and supervisor of student teachers. Ms. Torres holds a bachelor's degree in secondary education with a mathematics and social studies specialization and a master's degree in educational supervision from Texas A&I University in Kingsville.

Calvin Vance

Calvin Vance, MA, is a former educator and an active member of the U.S. Army Reserves. Mr. Vance's training and occupational skills in the army prompted him to obtain a degree in elementary education. As a classroom teacher, he taught students in grades one and four at Valley Grande Elementary. In 2000, Mr. Vance accepted a principal's job at this school, where he spent 16 years as a teacher and principal. Currently, he works in the Federal Programs Sections of the Alabama State Department of Education. In this role, Mr. Vance helps to provide technical assistance to 11 school districts in the State. Collaboration between various departments is a powerful tool that helps Mr. Vance and his colleagues to provide quality service to local educational agencies.

Anita Villarreal

Anita Villarreal, MEd, is the state director of the Texas Education Agency's Title I, Part A, school improvement program in the division of NCLB program coordination as well as the assistant Title I director. Ms. Villarreal began her career at the Agency in 1994. Since then, she has worked with numerous NCLB programs. In addition to serving as a classroom teacher, Ms. Villarreal has worked with the Head Start, Migrant Education, and Bilingual Education programs. Ms. Villarreal has a bachelor's degree from Boise State University, Boise, Idaho, and a master's degree in education administration from Texas A&M, Corpus Christi, Texas.

Christina J. Villarreal

Christina Villarreal, BS, serves as the state director for the Texas Migrant Education Program and the Title III English Language Acquisition Program in the Texas Education Agency (TEA). From 1999-2001, Ms. Villarreal worked in the division of migrant education as well as the department of special populations at the TEA, where she served as a special assistant to the associate commissioner. Ms. Villarreal currently works in the division of NCLB program coordination. In addition, she serves as the president of the National Association of State Directors of Migrant Education. Prior to joining the TEA staff, Ms. Villarreal—a certified teacher in bilingual/ESL education—taught in public schools as a bilingual teacher in kindergarten and first grade classrooms. She also gained experience in education policy early in her career by interning for a non-partisan education policy research firm and conducting a study of school choice options in Texas. Ms. Villarreal has a bachelor's degree in political science and communication from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas.

Haidee Williams

Haidee Williams, MS, is a project director in SEDL’s Improving School Performance program. Prior to joining SEDL, Ms. Williams worked for the Region XIII Education Service Center in Texas, where she provided professional development services to address the needs of science education for grades PreK-12. She also has worked as a curriculum coordinator and classroom teacher at Channelview Independent School District in Channelview, Texas. Ms. Williams has bachelor’s degrees in health and physical education from Lamar University and in biology from the University of Houston. She also has a master’s degree in science curriculum and instruction from the University of Houston.

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