Guest speakers at the Virtual Summit.
Kentucky Department of Education
Jason Glass has served as commissioner of Kentucky Department of Education since September 2020. Glass, a native of Brandenburg and a third-generation Kentucky educator, has been commissioner of education since September 2020. Before that, he had been superintendent and chief learner of Jeffco Public Schools in Colorado since 2017. More ▸
A 1990 graduate of Meade County High School, Glass received a bachelor’s degree in political science and history in 1994, a master’s in political science in 1996, and a master’s in education in 2007 from the University of Kentucky (UK). Glass began his teaching career at Hazard Independent Schools, working as a high school social studies teacher from 1996 to 1998. While still a graduate student, he already was serving as an instructor at UK and at Georgetown College. Glass received his doctorate in education leadership in 2011 from Seton Hall University. He holds a certificate in advanced education leadership from Harvard University, received in 2019. From 2001 to 2006 he held progressively senior positions with the Colorado Department of Education, then worked as vice president of quality ratings for Qualistar Early Learning. He served briefly as senior director of human capital strategy for Ohio-based Battelle for Kids before Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad appointed him state Director of Education. Glass served as Iowa’s chief state school officer from 2010 to 2013. From 2013 to 2017 Glass was superintendent of Eagle County Public Schools in Colorado. In 2016, President Barack Obama nominated Glass to the National Board for Education Sciences. He and his wife, Sarah, have two elementary-aged children who attend Kentucky public schools.
Center for Rural Health Research
East Tennessee State University (ETSU)
Michael Meit serves as director of research and programs for East Tennessee State University’s Center for Rural Health Research, senior fellow in the NORC at the University of Chicago Public Health Research Department, and deputy director of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)-funded ETSU/NORC Rural Health Equity Research Center. More ▸
Through these appointments. Meit leads research and programmatic activities in the areas of opioid and overdose mortality, rural health, and public health systems, while leveraging synergies between NORC and ETSU research agendas to develop collaborative research initiatives. He has recently led efforts to develop overdose mapping visualization tools, completed health equity studies exploring geographic health disparities, and conducted evaluations of rural community-based health initiatives and tribal health professions training programs. He has also led several public health systems research projects in the areas of accreditation, performance improvement, workforce, and financing. Meit has more than 20 years of experience in public health systems and rural health research and practice. His experience includes work at both the state and national levels, first with the Pennsylvania Department of Health and then with the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) in Washington, D.C. Following his tenure at NACCHO, he served as the founding director of the University of Pittsburgh Center for Rural Health Practice and as the co-director of the NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis. Meit served on the National Advisory Committee for Rural Health and Human Services from 2004 to 2008, recently completed terms on the boards of directors for the National Rural Health Association and the Maryland Rural Health Association, and currently serves on the editorial and advisory boards for the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, the Journal of Appalachian Health, and Public Health Reports – the official journal of the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General and the U.S. Public Health Service. In 2019, Meit was named the National Rural Health Association’s Outstanding Researcher of the Year.
Joe M. Ristuccia
Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative
Joe Ristuccia is a certified school psychologist with more than 25 years of experience working in public schools. Over the last 20 years, he has worked with students at risk for dropping out of high school due to social, emotional, and behavioral difficulties. He continues to assist school district leaders and educators in addressing the needs of these students. More ▸
Ristuccia has served as a consultant to the Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative (TLPI) and is a co-author of Helping Traumatized Children Learn. Additionally, he has consulted with the Department of School Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital, presented program model research findings at the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and presented for the Department of Education and the University of Wisconsin on topics related to the impact of trauma on learning and on the role of trauma in student behaviors that can lead to punitive discipline and school failure. Ristuccia is an adjunct professor at Lesley University where he teaches courses on developing trauma-sensitive schoolwide, classroom, and individual interventions to support all students’ success in the general education curriculum. Ristuccia holds an Ed.M. from Harvard University and a B.A. from Yale University.
National Center for School Mental Health
University of Maryland School of Medicine
Dr. Tiffany Beason is a licensed clinical and community psychologist at the National Center for School Mental Health and an assistant professor in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Beason’s research interests relate to academic achievement, positive racial/ethnic identity, adaptive social and coping skills, and sense of community among youth and young adults. More ▸
Beason has served as a school mental health clinician in the Baltimore City Public School System for several years, where she provides supports that promote positive mental health for all as well as early intervention and treatment services for youth experiencing significant mental health difficulties. Clinically, Beason is trained as a generalist with specialized training in providing trauma-informed treatment in schools that serve primarily youth from low-income families and families of color. Beason serves as the director of Cultural Responsiveness, Anti-Racism, and Equity within the National Center for Safe Supportive Schools (NCS3). Beason is also a co-developer of a national curriculum for educators to promote culturally responsive and equitable mental health support in classrooms.
American Institutes for Research
Dr. Tammie Causey-Konaté is a senior technical assistance consultant at American Institutes for Research (AIR). Causey-Konaté has nearly 30 years of experience as a professional educator, with her years in K–12 and higher education divided equally. She has international and regional experience in diversity and equity, cultural and linguistic competence, cross-education system partnerships, and the postsecondary development of school leaders for urban and rural education contexts. More ▸
Author of the fall 2020 REL Southwest blog post Taking Off Our Blindfolds, While We Wear Our Masks
and co-editor of the book, Called to Sankofa: Leading in Through, and Beyond Disaster: A Narrative Account of African Americans Leading Education in Post-Katrina New Orleans (2018)
, she also has extensive experience in trauma-informed practices. Much of Causey-Konaté’s current work focuses on educational equity, including equity leadership, whole child equity, equitable access, diversification of the educator workforce, culturally responsive hiring practices, and social emotional learning. She presently leads a project to diversify the educator workforce in Wisconsin through REL Midwest, supports the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation COVID-19 and Equity in Education Longitudinal Deep Dive project, and serves as subject matter expert within the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders, Region 9 Comprehensive Center, and a number of other projects. Additionally, she was instrumental in helping to develop AIR’s Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Standards for Projects, Research, and Operations and in supporting staff implementation efforts to advance equity. From 2015 to 2019, Causey-Konaté served as deputy director of the Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) – supporting state education agencies in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Through her work with SECC, she was integrally involved in equity-focused partnerships with state and local education agencies, which culminated in a multistate equity summit
and Equity in Action webinar series. Causey-Konaté holds a Ph.D. in educational administration and an M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction from the University of New Orleans.
West Virginia Center for Children’s Justice
Andrea Darr is the director of the West Virginia Center for Children’s Justice (WVCCJ), which promotes and supports a statewide trauma-informed response to child maltreatment and children’s exposure to violence. The purpose of the Center, housed in the Crimes Against Children Unit at the West Virginia (WV) State Police, is to streamline resources and minimize duplicative efforts to address challenges, barriers, gaps, and needed improvements in working child maltreatment cases. More ▸
WVCCJ includes the WV Children’s Justice Task Force, the Defending Childhood Initiative, Handle With Care Initiative, WV Alliance for Drug Endangered Children, and the Human Trafficking Task Force. Before devoting her work full time on children’s initiatives, Darr served as the coordinator of Victim Witness Services for the WV Prosecuting Attorneys Institute. In that capacity, she coordinated with community-based programs to improve their collective knowledge concerning available resources and information and to establish a bridge between local, state, and federal agencies regarding victim issues. Darr has also worked in direct services with victims of crime, violence, and abuse while serving as the victim liaison at the Kanawha County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
West Virginia Autism Training Center
Dr. Jim Harris is the associate director of the West Virginia Autism Training Center at Marshall University and the owner of Opportunities Consulting Services. He has worked with children and families throughout his career as an early interventionist, parent educator, educational consultant, and behavioral health therapist. More ▸
Harris has presented at a variety of conferences from the local to the international levels on such topics as behavioral intervention, parenting, positive behavior support, trauma-informed care, organizational change, and many more. He has also worked with a variety of public and private entities including the Fred Rogers Company, U.S. Department of Education, the Ohio Association for the Education of Young Children, and many more.
Lara Kain is an experienced educator, consultant, and national speaker on implementing adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) science and trauma-informed practices into schools and communities, with a focus on building holistic trauma-responsive systems. She brings over two decades of experience at the local, state, and national level. More ▸
Before joining PACEs Connection, she developed trauma-informed community schools in Los Angeles, worked for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction supporting school improvement and as the state homeless coordinator, and, her first love, teaching ‘at-risk’ youth. Her wide range of experience, from supporting individual teachers in the classroom to designing a trauma-informed schools pilot currently being implemented in 20 schools across the country, helps her to understand the macro and the micro. She has worked both as a teacher and administrator putting the science of building resilience into practice. She has a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a master’s in public administration from The Evergreen State College.
Dr. Conrae Lucas-Adkins is an assistant professor of school psychology in the College of Education and Professional Development at Marshall University. Prior to joining the faculty at Marshall in 2016, Lucas-Adkins provided outpatient behavioral healthcare services for a community mental health agency and then worked as a full-time school psychologist in West Virginia. More ▸
Lucas-Adkins is licensed as a school psychologist by the WV Board of Examiners of Psychologists and is the WV Delegate to the National Association of School Psychologists. Her current research interests include investigating the long-term effects of neonatal abstinence syndrome and early adverse experiences on the cognitive, behavioral, and emotional development of children and building supports within the schools to promote the healthy development of all students.
Dr. Marianna Linz is professor and chair in the Department of Psychology at Marshall University. She holds a master’s degree in clinical psychology from Marshall University and a doctorate in developmental psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. More ▸
Her research and teaching interests include general topics in child development and the impacts of substance use on children and families in Appalachia, the impacts of in-utero substance exposure on later development, and family/systems-focused evidence-based practices in low-resourced environments. Linz has authored/co-authored a number of funded federal grants through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and other mechanisms for projects related to training in clinical psychology, programs addressing substance abuse and its impacts in children and families, substance abuse treatment, and behavioral health workforce expansion. She served as the director of the APA-accredited doctoral program in clinical psychology (Psy.D.) at Marshall for its first 12 years.
National Training and Technical Assistance Center for Child, Youth, and Family Mental Health
Center for Applied Research Solutions
Yesmina Luchsinger is an educator, innovator, and mental health professional. She brings experience in public education, equity, policy development, substance abuse prevention, child welfare, and the unique experience of state education system leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic. More ▸
She was recognized by the National Center for School Mental Health in 2019 as the Youth and Family Partner of the Year. An Arab-American and daughter of an immigrant, Luchsinger currently works to improve collaboration within systems of care networks such as health, education, and child welfare. In her free time, she teaches yoga and sends snail mail to her friends.
National Center for School Mental Health
Dr. Samantha Reaves works to integrate her research and clinical experiences to improve outcomes for children. Her research interests lie at the intersection of mental health and education, and she often investigates how school or family factors influence student outcomes in underserved communities. More ▸
As a clinical-community psychologist, Reaves believes great prevention work can be done and realizes the importance of strengthening the systems children are nested in to promote well-being; so she is committed to supporting schools, at multiple levels, to improve policies and procedures around student socio-emotional functioning. In her work at the NCSMH, Reaves primarily supports the Promoting Student Wellness project, the RISE evaluation, and the National Quality Initiative.
Boone County Schools
Kathy Reutman began her education career teaching special education and then became a special education director, where she developed a passion for reducing all barriers for children with special needs. Reutman’s ongoing passion to support people impacted by directly or indirectly by opioid abuse in the region; she is a founding member of the Boone County Heroin Task Force (renamed Hope 4 Boone County), a proactive collaborative that supports educators, students, families, and the community who are the innocent victims of opioid use and abuse and other trauma. More ▸
Recently, in partnership with Children Inc., Reutman created an Early Learning Childcare Center for inner city Boone County preschool students. She also partnered with the Children’s Home of Northern Kentucky to design a pilot facility-based educational program that provides residents wraparound therapeutic mental health services to increase their educational success. Reutman is a member of the Education Leaders Network Committee for Special Olympics Project UNIFY. She is a founding member and current chair of Boone County Success By Six, now Boone County Early Childhood Fund. She most recently received the Helen Carroll Champion of Education award and the NAACP’s Education Partner Award for her Outstanding Service and Support to Equal Educational Opportunities for All Students. Reutman was awarded the Dr. Johnnie Grissom Award in recognition of striving for achievement through instructional equity by the Kentucky Board of Education.
Marissa del Rosario
Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative
Marissa del Rosario is a trauma-sensitive schools specialist for the Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative (TLPI) at Massachusetts Advocates for Children. Prior to joining the TLPI team, del Rosario worked for 19 years in urban and rural public school districts. More ▸
She began her career as an elementary school educator in New Orleans, Louisiana and then worked as a licensed clinical social worker in public schools for a leading educational nonprofit in Austin, Texas. Over the years, del Rosario has worked extensively with students, parents, and school personnel at all levels to help remove barriers to students’ educational success. She holds a master’s degree in social work with a concentration in political social work and is a licensed clinical social worker.
Kentucky Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities
Dr. Tena Robbins is senior executive advisor for Innovation and Implementation Support for the Kentucky Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities. She has worked in the behavioral health services field as a behavioral health services researcher, program evaluator, program administrator, and evidence-based program implementation consultant for more than 20 years. More ▸
Prior to her career as a services researcher and evaluator, Robbins worked as a preschool educator and an elementary school counselor. Robbins serves as the co-principal investigator of Kentucky’s Emergency COVID grant, State Opioid Response Grant, and Kentucky’s System of Care Implementation and Expansion grant for child welfare-involved families. She serves as the behavioral health lead for Kentucky’s CCBHC Demonstration Project, co-coordinator of Kentucky’s Jail Diversion Transformation Transfer Initiative, and behavioral health designee on the Kentucky State Interagency Council for Services to Children, Adolescents and Transition-Age Youth; the Kentucky Coalition for Healthy Students; and the Kentucky Juvenile Justice Oversight Council. Robbins is a member of the Department’s Trauma and Resilience Team; the Cabinet’s Trauma Informed Care Roundtable; the Department’s Racial Equity Team; the Cabinet’s Racial Equity Champions; Kentucky AWARE/School Climate Transformation State Management Team; the School Safety and Resiliency Act Implementation Support Team; and staffs the Social and Emotional Health and Wellbeing Standing Committee of the State Interagency Council for Services to Children, Adolescents and Transition-Age Youth. She is a long-standing board member of the Kentucky Council for Children with Behavior Disorders; the Kentucky Center for School Safety; Red Bird Mission, Inc.; and the Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network –Bluegrass Chapter (GLSEN Bluegrass).
Robbins is a member of the Global Implementation Society, serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Behavioral Health Services and Research and as an ad-hoc reviewer for the Journal of Child and Family Studies and has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in implementation science, psychology, behavior disorders, research design, and quantitative analysis. Robbins received a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in Child Development from Berea College, a master’s degree in counselor education – community and school counseling from the University of South Florida, and a doctorate in child and family research and policy from the University of South Florida. She completed a graduate certificate in children’s mental health through the University of South Florida in 2008.
Center on Trauma and Children,
University of Kentucky
Dr. Ginny Sprang is a professor in the College of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, at the University of Kentucky, and executive director of the Center on Trauma and Children. More ▸
She is the principal investigator of the SAMHSA-funded Secondary Traumatic Stress Innovations and Solutions Center, the Child and Adolescent Trauma Treatment and Training Institute, and chair emeritus of the Secondary Traumatic Stress Collaborative group. She has held national leadership positions in the National Child Traumatic Stress Network and the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies Special Interest Group for the Terrorism and Disaster committee. Sprang has published extensively on topics such as child trauma, trauma-informed care, the commercial sexual exploitation of minors, implementation and sustainability, disaster response, and secondary traumatic stress. Her work involves the creation of translational tools, and the development, testing, and implementation of evidence-based treatments and practices to serve those exposed to these traumatic experiences.