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Carla Miller
Executive Director, Ed.D. has a Masters Degree in Special Education and Doctorate in Special Education. Carla has worked as a university instructor teaching upper level coursework on assessment, Learning Disabilities, classroom management, and behaviors, as an Early Childhood Administrator, an outreach educator, and an educator on evaluation teams. She has conducted trainings on autism, behaviors, and early childhood. Carla currently serves on the states Part B Interagency Coordinating Council. She currently serves on the Secretary of Educations Committee on Opportunity which is looking at achievement outcomes for SDs economically disadvantaged learners. Carla also serves as a representative for Parent Trainings Centers with the National Center for Systemic Improvement serving on the Low Performing Schools Team, Family Engagement Resource Team, and Stakeholder and Family Engagement Team. She is a parent of two sons, one with ADHD and Anxiety Disorder.

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Lisa Sanderson
Grants Coordinator,has served as the Family to Family Project Director since January 2008 and has an extensive background in working with families across South Dakota. She served at the Project Director for a four-year Rural Health Outreach Project at SDPC funded by Maternal Child Health Bureau. Lisa has a Bachelors Degree and is a licensed social worker, having worked for the state Department of Social Services, Division of Child Protection Services and at a residential facility for children with behavioral disorders.Lisa is the CDCs Act Early Ambassador to South Dakota for 2018-2021, a Serving on Groups trainer, served six years on the states Part C Interagency Council and Board of Vocational Rehabilitation, and is contracted by the USD LEND Program as Family Discipline Head Faculty. Lisa has three children, one of whom has a neuro-developmental disorder.


Betsy Drew
Outreach Specialist is a retired Elementary Principal. She holds a Masters Degree in both Elementary Administration and Elementary Curriculum. She has served as a 504 Coordinator, a University Instructor, and classroom teacher. As an administrator she implemented a Response to Intervention program for her elementary school. Betsy is a graduate of Partners in Policymaking. She has one daughter who has a complex and rare disorder.

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Lisa Merchen
Outreach Specialist, is a former classroom teacher with 34 years experiences as both a regular and special education teacher. She holds a BA in Elementary and Special Education. She is a graduate of Partners in Policymaking and currently services on the SD Board of Vocational Rehabilitation. Lisa is married and has three grown children, one son has Downs syndrome.


Tina Kenser
Outreach Specialist, is the mother of a middle school aged daughter with autism. Tina has been instrumental in organizing a parent support group in her community. She is a graduate of Partners in Policymaking. She currently serves on the state Family Support Council, Mayors Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities in her community, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Advisory Board in her community. She was a Captain in the military and has retired, having been Honorably Discharged from service as a Military Intelligence Officer.


Barb Avery-Sterud
Barb has most recently been a special education administrator in the Sioux Falls School District. Prior to joining SFSD, she worked both as a Family Therapist and the Education Program Coordinator at Sioux Falls Children's Home Society. She has background in working with students and families to create better understanding of possibilities. She has a Bachelor's degree in Elementary and Special Education, a Master's degree in Guidance Counseling and her doctorate is in Curriculum and Instruction in Special Education.


Kris Sellers
Outreach Specialist, Kris recently retired as an Early Childhood Special Education teacher of 24 years. She has also worked as an elementary special education teacher and worked as a vocational education instructor with the former Childrens Care Hospital and School. While studying special education, Kris worked in a variety of group homes that served both children and adults with special needs. She holds a M.A.ED in Special Education.
Kris is married and has three adult children and two grandchildren.


Jennifer Wentzel
Program Support Specialist, has a bachelors in social work and close to 20 years experience working for non-profit organizations. Jennifer is a recent graduate of the Partners in Policymaking leadership and advocacy training in South Dakota. Jennifer is married and has two teenage boys.

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