FCEC Hosts Free Webinar

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Understanding Intersectionality to Address Issues of Racism in Schools:
A Focus on Disability and Race

Saturday, October 24th

10am - noon

More Info


FCEC Welcomes Four New Board Members

Dr. Marissa Kase, Conference Chair (2-year term) 
Marissa KaseMarissa Kase is currently a teacher in a first grade self-contained autism unit. For the past three years, she taught in a self-contained autism unit for grades 2nd through 5th. Prior to that she was a general education preschool teacher. She graduated from Lynn University with a Bachelor's in Elementary Education with a specialization in Early Childhood as well as both Reading and ESOL Endorsements, a Master's in Special Education with an Autism Endorsement, and a Doctoral Degree in Educational Leadership. 
Marissa writes, "Working with special education students has been a passion of mine since I was in high school. My passion started when I was teaching swim lessons and began giving lessons to children with autism. I knew immediately it was a field I needed to learn more about and be more involved in. Being that I have my own physical handicaps, one of my missions as a special education teacher is to teach all of my students that they are not their disability and regardless of what others say, they can accomplish anything they put their minds to. Recently I have taken an interest in the advocacy portion of CEC and helping to give the students I work with everyday the voice that they deserve. I am very excited for the potential opportunity to work alongside the entire Florida CEC board and continue my journey and advocacy in working with children and individuals with disabilities. I hope to be able to share my passion for these individuals with others both in and out of the field."  

Angela Weary-Crooks, CAN Representative (2-year term) 
Angela Weary-CrooksAngela is joining us from Hillsborough County Public Schools where she is currently a supervisor for Exceptional Student Education. Angela has a BS in Special and Elementary Education from Our Lady of the Lake University and a MEd in Instructional Leadership from Saint Leo University. She is certified in both ESE and regular education and also has endorsements in ASD and ELL. During her twenty-year tenure as an educator, Angela has been an ESE teacher, HomeBased teacher for students with ASD, District Mentor Teacher, Trainer and District Resource Teacher. Angela has worked to improve opportunities for diverse learners through supporting equitable programs that meet the unique characteristics of our students. Through advocating for change on a comprehensive level, her work has included program development to help all disabilities, ethnicities, cultures, languages, and genders through peer programs and curriculum development. Angela believes that as educators we play a fundamental role in positioning students for future success and is committed to working closely with you, our schools, our parents and our community to help our students achieve their full potential.

Dr. Ashley Pennypacker Hill, Secretary
Ashley Pennypacker HillAshley currently serves as a the Director of Student and Family Services at PK Yonge Developmental Research School at the University of Florida. She received her Bachelor’s in Elementary Education, her Master’s in Special Education, and her Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus in Leadership from the University of Florida. She has experience teaching in both elementary and higher education contexts, designing and facilitating professional learning for preservice and in-service educators, providing instructional coaching, and developing systems of support in K-12 general and special education settings for students, teachers, and families. In addition, she has served as the Local Education Agency (LEA), Staffing Specialist, and Principal Investigator (PI) for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act as well as Title 1. Ashley’s goal is to help all students and families feel valued and included in their educational journey. 

Lindsey Pike, Student Representative
Lyndsey PikeLindsey is a PhD student in Exceptional Student Education at the University of Central Florida (UCF). She received her BA in English Literature from Lees-McRae College (NC) in 2009, her Master's in Social Work (MSW) from UCF in 2013, and an Intervention Specialist Master's Certification from UCF in 2019. In addition to her PhD work, Lindsey is a Graduate Research Associate for the Teacher Quality Partnership grant project at UCF. She has several years experience working in central Florida public schools as a social worker and a special education teacher, with the majority of her teaching in secondary settings. While working as a school social worker, Lindsey spent 3 years as a youth and family counselor, providing inhome and in-school services to youth of all ages and their families. She is an active member within the TED, DCDT, and DLD divisions of CEC and a member of the leadership board for the CEC Educators with Disabilities Caucus (EDC). Lindsey's research interests include transition and self-efficacy for secondary and post-secondary students with disabilities, disability in higher education, teacher preparation, and pre-service and in-service teachers with disabilities.

Save the Date 

You're invited to join us for our first FCEC virtual member social

Saturday, November 14th

Details to follow

Bill HellerFCEC is sad to learn of the recent passing of Dr. H. William Heller, known to most as Bill. He was a true pioneer of exceptional education and had a major impact in developing leadership and improving programs in many states. His most recent location was St. Petersburg Florida where he served as the Dean, College of Education and Director of the Wally and Louise Bishop Center for Ethical Leadership and Civic Engagement at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. He was recognized by having a building on campus named for him representing not only his contributions to the university, but to the greater St. Petersburg community as well. He was elected to two terms in the Florida House of Representatives. Bill was an active CEC member and a strong leader within the organization at the local state, and national levels. He served as president of two CEC Divisions and was Co-Editor of the journal, Teaching Exceptional Children, and was the driving force behind the development of CEC’s Professional Standards. He was the 2017-2018 recipient of FCEC’s prestigious Landis M. Stetler Award. His legacy will continue in the many people that he inspired and mentored throughout his long career.

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