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Carla Miller
Executive Director, Ed.D. has a Master’s 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 state’s Part B Interagency Coordinating Council.  She currently serves on the Secretary of Education’s Committee on Opportunity which is looking at achievement outcomes for SD’s 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.

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 Bachelor’s 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 CDC’s Act Early Ambassador to South Dakota for 2018-2021, a Serving on Groups trainer, served six years on the state’s 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 Master’s 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 Policy Making.  She has one daughter who has a complex and rare disorder.

Ken Randall
Fiscal Specialist, holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA).   He brings previous experience as a claims examiner, personal banker, and a fiscal and operations analyst. Ken is a parent of two sons, one with an Anxiety Disorder. Ken also has an adult relative with a developmental disability who resides in a supporting living environment.

Lisa Merchen
Outreach Specialist, is a former classroom teacher with 34 year’s 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 Policy Making and currently services on the SD Board of Vocational Rehabilitation.   Lisa is married and has three grown children, one son has Downs syndrome.  

Patricia (Trish) Bowers
Program Specialist, holds an A.A.A. in Marketing from Southeastern Technical Institute. Prior to working at SDPC Trish worked in Community Support programs in the areas of office management, social media, marketing, and staff support.  Trish is married with one grown son who has ADHD.

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 Policy Making.  She currently serves on the state Family Support Council, Mayor’s 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.

Paula Souhrada
Navigator Program Coordinator, has a degree in psychology, 20 yrs. of experience in the human service field, and extensive administrative experience with 2 Communication Services for the Deaf. Paula is a FASD trainer and a Native American Outreach Specialist/Trainer trained through the national Native American Parents Technical Assistance Center (NAPTAC). For several years Paula coordinated the annual Hands in Motion summer enrichment program for children with hearing loss, funded through SEP. Paula is Deaf and grew up in a household where ASL was the primary language. Paula has family members with special health care needs and disabilities.

Tana Buresch
Outreach Specialist, has a degree in marketing and has worked as an adult service provider for individuals with disabilities. Tana coordinates SibShops activities and is a lead on the planning team for the annual Lighting the way Autism Conference. Tana is a certified Person-Centered Thinking trainer, Person-Centered Transition Assessment facilitator, and Serving on Groups trainer. She serves on the state Board of Services to the Blind and Visually Impaired. Tana is the parent of two small children, her oldest child received early intervention services.

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South Dakota Parent Connection

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