Presenter Bios


2014 Presenter Bios

Eric J. Bruns
Associate Professor, University of Washington Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Division of Public Behavioral Health and Justice Policy, Seattle, Washington

Eric J. Bruns, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington School of Medicine. He is nationally known for his research and development work on integrated care coordination for youth with complex mental health needs via the wraparound process and school mental health services. He serves as Director of the National Wraparound Initiative ( and as the Associate Director of the UW School Mental Health Assessment, Research, and Training (SMART) Center ( He has served as Principal Investigator for over 10 federally funded studies of community and school mental health services and authored over 70 refereed journal articles and book chapters.

Sue Ann Bube
Director, The Center for Change in Transition Services, Seattle, Washington

Sue Ann Bube is the director for the Center for Change in Transition Services. Over the past twenty years, Sue Ann has been a classroom teacher in the areas of mathematics and special education. She is a National Board Certified Teacher and is earning her Doctorate in Educational Leadership with a specialization in Educational Administration.

Art Cernosia
Attorney at Law/Education Consultant, Williston, Vermont

Art Cernosia is an attorney and an education consultant from Williston, Vermont. Art previously worked as a teacher, an Assistant Attorney General assigned to the Vermont Department of Education, a practicing attorney, and consultant with a  special education technical assistance center.  He also volunteered as a surrogate parent for students with disabilities who were placed in juvenile detention facilities. He provides training, consultation and other technical assistance services to state and local education agencies and advocacy organizations throughout the nation pertaining to special education legal issues.

Clayton Cook
Clayton Cook, Associate Professor, Educational Psychology, University of Washington, College of Education, Seattle, Washington

Dr. Clayton Cook is currently an Associate Professor in the College of Education at the University of Washington. He is also the Associate Director of the School Mental Health Assessment, Research and Training (SMART) Center at UW. He received his PhD in School Psychology from the University of California, Riverside, and subsequently went on to do his internship at Boys Town in Omaha, Nebraska. Dr. Cook is a former educator and licensed psychologist who works with school systems across the country on designing and implementing multi-tiered systems of support. Dr. Cook has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and books on the topic of improved educational programming for students with or at-risk for disabilities.

Julie Gentili Armbrust
Attorney at Law, President, Mediation Northwest, Eugene, Oregon

Julie Gentili Armbrust is President of Mediation Northwest. She is a private mediator and facilitator, practicing attorney and mediation and facilitation trainer. Julie is a premiere provider of special education mediation and facilitation services throughout the Pacific Northwest and provides mediation and facilitation training throughout the United States.

Julie was recently recognized as a 2012 and 2013 Super Lawyer Rising Star in mediation.  In 2011, she also received the Top-20-Under-40 Business Leaders in Lane County award by The Register-Guard.

She is currently on the Lane County Bar Association board of directors, is the former chair for the Lane County Bar Association Family Law Section, is the former treasurer and executive board member of the Oregon State Bar ADR section, the past chair of the Lane County Bar Association’s ADR section, a former board of director on the Oregon Mediation Association’s Board of Directors, and the past co-chair of the Oregon Mediation Association’s Family Interest Mediation Group. Julie has also been a special lecturer on mediation skills at both the University of Oregon School of Law and Willamette Law School.

Paul Goodwin
Senior Attorney, U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Seattle, Washington

Paul Goodwin has been an attorney with OCR for 10 years, and has resolved numerous Section 504 and Title II disability complaints, including complaints regarding eligibility/evaluations, provision of services, discipline, harassment and accessibility.  He has given multiple presentations to schools and parents on disability-related issues.  Prior to joining OCR, Paul worked for a private law firm and represented school districts in Oregon.

Graham Hicks
Attorney at Law, Graham M. Hicks, P.C., Portland, Oregon

Graham is an attorney in private practice in Beaverton, Oregon. He advises and represents school districts throughout Oregon and Southwestern Washington on special education law and other disability law matters. After 33 years with the Portland office of Miller Nash, LLP, Graham founded his own law firm in 2006. He is a member of the Education Law Association, NSBA Council of School Attorneys, Oregon Council of School Attorneys, and the state bars of Oregon and Washington. Graham is a frequent presenter at law conferences and conducts workshops and trainings for school district staff on a variety of special education topics. He is an author of “The Educator’s Guide: Student Discipline in Oregon,” a widely-used reference on discipline of general and special education students.

Jose Martin
Attorney at Law, Richards Lindsay & Martin LLP, Austin, Texas

Jose Martín is a partner with the school law firm of Richards Lindsay & Martín in Austin, Texas. His law practice of over 20 years has focused exclusively on matters involving the education of students with disabilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504. He is a graduate of the University of Texas and the University of Texas School of Law. A background in journalism has led Jose to frequent publication in the area of disabilities laws and their impact on students and public schools. He currently serves as Contributing Editor to the national publication The Special Educator and LRP’s web-based Special Ed Connection As a speaker, Mr. Martín presents numerous topics on disabilities laws to audiences at local, regional, state, and national conferences.

Pam McPartland
Program Supervisor, Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, Olympia, Washington

Pamela McPartland has worked in the Special Education Section of the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) in Washington State since 1999.  She coordinates the dispute resolution options available under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  This includes OSPI’s special education citizen complaints investigated by OSPI, and, coordination with the Office of Administrative Hearings (due process hearings) and Sound Options Training and Mediation Group (mediation.) Pamela received her undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Oregon and her Juris Doctor from Seattle University Law School (formally University of Puget Sound) in 1983. Prior to working at OSPI, Pamela worked at the Department of Social and Health Services in the Lands and Buildings Department from 1996-1999, and Puget Sound Legal Assistance Foundation from 1983 to 1996.

Dave Richards
Attorney at Law, Richards Lindsay & Martin, LLP, Austin, Texas

David M. Richards is a graduate of Texas Tech University, and the University of Texas School of Law. He is a partner in the Austin law firm RICHARDS LINDSAY & MARTIN, L.L.P., where his practice is focused on the defense of school districts and special education co-ops. Dave is the General Counsel for the Council of Educators for Students with Disabilities, and is a frequent presenter on special education and §504 at education service centers, school districts, state-wide events, and national conferences throughout the United States. His analysis on education law issues frequently appears in LRP’s publications The Section 504 Compliance Advisor, The Special Educator, and Your School and the Law.

Claudette Rushing
Legal and Dispute Resolution Specialist, Oregon Department of Education, Salem, Oregon

Claudette Rushing is the Legal Specialist at the Oregon Department of Education in the Office of Learning- Student Services. She coordinates Dispute Resolution Services under the IDEA and writes and edits administrative orders for IDEA state complaints in addition to overseeing the state investigation process for IDEA complaints.  She also works with a variety of Special Education, Legal, and Civil Rights issues. Claudette is licensed to practice law in Maryland and New York (summer of 2013) and has six years of teaching experience in reading and language arts. She has taught reading to students in elementary, middle, and high school and has worked with special education, general education, and gifted and talented students.

Mary Schillinger
Assistant Superintendent, Las Virgenes Unified School District, Calabasas, California

Mary Schillinger has been the assistant superintendent for education in LVUSD for the past ten years.   Her career began as a general education teacher and then a special education resource teacher, before she moved into administration as a high school coordinator, district program specialist, director of special education, and now assistant superintendent of education.  Mary has Masters degrees in Special Education and Educational Administration.  As the Assistant Superintendent, she oversees the professional development and strategic planning for implementation of the CA Common Core State Standards for both general education and special education K-12.    As a member of the faculty of California State University Northridge, Mary teaches courses in the special education teacher preparation and school psychology departments.  She authored the LRP publications; The Administrator’s Guide to Building and Maintaining a Comprehensive Autism Program in 2010,  Write On, A Guide to Compliant Documentation of Special Education Policies and Procedures in 2012 , and most recently Common Core and the Special Education Student:  Your Guide to Instructional Shifts and Implementing Services and Supports in 2014.   Mary is a presenter at state and national conferences.

Tim Sell
Senior Attorney, U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Seattle, Washington

Tim is a Senior Attorney with the Office for Civil Rights has been with OCR since 1999.  He has handled a wide range of cases involving bullying and harassment of students with disabilities. Before coming to OCR, he directed the University of Washington’s internal Complaint Investigation and Resolution Office, working directly with administrators, disabled student services, department faculty, and others to ensure compliance with Section 504 and Title II of the ADA. He has also practiced law in Maryland, the District of Columbia and Washington, and as a public defender in King County, represented children and parents in juvenile court abuse and neglect proceedings. He resides on Bainbridge Island, Washington.

Wayne Stewart
Attorney at Law, Hammonds, Sills, Adkins & Guice, LLP, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Wayne is a 1988 graduate of Duke University, receiving a B.S. degree. He received his M.A. in Psychology from Louisiana State University in 1991 and his Ph.D. in Psychology from LSU in 1994. He received his J.D. in 2006 from Loyola University in New Orleans. His law practice focuses on special education and Section 504 law. He is a member of the Louisiana State Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the National Council of School Attorneys, the Baton Rouge Bar Association, the 22nd Judicial District Court (Louisiana) Bar Association, and the National Association of School Psychologists (retired). He is also licensed as a psychologist by the Louisiana State Board of Examiners of Psychologists with a specialization in school psychology. Prior to his employment as an attorney, he was a school psychologist for the Jefferson Parish Public School System (JPPSS) from 1993 to 1996, Coordinator of Pupil Appraisal Services/Behavior Management for JPPSS from 1996 to 2004, and a Special Education Liaison for JPPS from 2005 to 2006. He has taught courses for LSU, Tulane, Loyola (New Orleans), and Our Lady of Holy Cross College (New Orleans). Mr. Stewart is located in the Baton Rouge office.

Julie Weatherly
Attorney at Law/Owner, Resolutions in Special Education, Inc., Mobile, Alabama

Julie J. Weatherly, Esq. is the owner of Resolutions in Special Education, Inc. with attorneys in Birmingham and Mobile, Alabama.  Julie is a member of the State Bars of Alabama and Georgia, and for more than twenty-six years, she has provided legal representation and consultative services to school districts and other agencies in the area of educating students with disabilities.  In June of 1996, Julie appeared with Leslie Stahl on CBS news program “60 Minutes” to discuss the cost of meeting the legal requirements of the IDEA.  She has been a member of the faculty for many national and state legal institutes and is a frequent speaker at special education law conferences.  Julie has developed a number of videotape training series on special education law and has been published nationally as a part of her trainings, workshops and seminars.  She is the author of the legal update article for the National CASE quarterly newsletter and is a member of LRP’s Special Education Attorneys Advisory Council.   In 1998, Julie was honored by Georgia’s Council for Exceptional Children as Georgia’s Individual who had Contributed Most to Students with Disabilities and, in April 2012, Julie received the National Council of Administrators of Special Education (CASE) Award for Outstanding Service.

Diane F. Wiscarson, Attorney at Law, Wiscarson Law, Portland, Oregon

Diane Wiscarson, Esq., represents students and their families in education matters, with a particular focus on special education law. Having experienced the sometimes difficult IEP process first-hand as a parent, Diane has a unique parent perspective on how to navigate the IEP maze, as well as recognized legal expertise. Diane actively represents families throughout Oregon and Washington. Additionally, Diane serves on numerous boards and committees related to special education interests, and is a frequent presenter at local, state, regional and national meetings and conferences.

Diana Browning Wright
Educational/Behavioral Consultant, Sierra Madre, California

Diana Browning Wright, MS, LEP,  is a well-known initiative leader with successful Behavioral RtI and other initiatives on improving educational outcomes for all students in states and regions across the country. Diana’s extensive background is in educational reform, behavioral RTI, emotional disturbance, school psychology, behavior analysis and classroom teaching. She has worked with students with and without disabilities from preschool through graduate schools, across all disabilities and diversity groups, and is known for her practical, use-tomorrow materials. She has published her work in numerous peer reviewed journals, authored three books on Behavioral RtI for LRP publications and three editions of “Positive Interventions for Serious Behavior Problems” published by the State of California as well as many articles on both teaching and behavior support.  Ms. Wright is a co- author of the Behavior Support Plan Desk Reference and the BSP Quality Evaluation Guide, work that teaches how to develop function based behavior plans and how to evaluate their quality across student populations, with and without disabilities.

Ms. Wright is co- founder  and director of the statewide network of behavior trainers for the state of California, . She regularly consults on how to maximize outcomes for students in restrictive settings for E/BD through evidence-based interventions and structures.  Diana’s current research is on how belief barriers in school staff can be identified and overcome in order to embrace educational reform across schools in a district, as well as how effective data management systems can support achievement of educational goals and objectives.