Presenter Bios


Preliminary list of Presenters for 2019

Doris Bowman
Director of Training/Behavioral Consultant, Bowman Consulting Group LLC, Newberg, Oregon

Doris Bowman, M.S., Education/Special Education is a Certified Trauma Practitioner of Education (CTP-E®), Certified Trauma Practitioner – Clinical (CTP-C®), a PCI Certified Parent Coach®, and is also licensed in Oregon as a PreK-9 General Educator, PreK-21 Special Educator, and PreK-21 Administrator. Doris is a Think:Kids Certified Trainer in the Collaborative Problem Solving Approach® (Mass General Hospital), a neurobiologically-grounded and trauma-informed approach to both intervention and skill-building for children and youth who demonstrate challenging behavior due to trauma, neuro-developmental factors, or other causes.

Ms. Bowman spent a decade as a private business owner of a commercial fishing business in Alaska. After leaving Alaska, she graduated with her Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary Education from George Fox University, followed by a Master’s Degree in Education/Special Education at Western Oregon University, and an Administrative Licensure program at George Fox University. She has taught, trained, coached and volunteered over the course of her career with organizations in Cuba, Jamaica and Guatemala.

After many years of running programs for children and youth with significantly challenging behavior as well as those with a variety of mental health diagnoses, Ms. Bowman encountered the Collaborative Problem Solving approach. After becoming familiar with the power of it’s alignment with current neuroscience and trauma-informed practice, she determined that this model and the larger scope of trauma-informed practices would become the focus of her career as a trainer and consultant from that point forward. Currently, while Ms. Bowman is a frequent presenter at conferences, she is most driven by a desire to work with individual districts, schools and community agencies to develop systems that are truly trauma-informed and meet the support needs of both staff and students when faced with the challenging task of overcoming the impacts of trauma.

Doris can be contacted through Bowman Consulting Group website as well as via email at

Rick Bowman
Director of Coaching/Consultation, Bowman Consulting Group LLC, Newberg, Oregon

Rick Bowman, M.A., Clinical Psychology, is a Certified Trauma Practitioner – Clinical (CTP-C®), a licensed PreK-21 Administrator in the state of Oregon, and a Think:Kids Certified Trainer in the Collaborative Problem Solving Approach® (Mass General Hospital), a neurobiologically-grounded and trauma-informed approach to both intervention and skill-building for children and youth who demonstrate challenging behavior due to trauma, neuro-developmental factors, or other causes.

After serving 5 years in the U.S. Air Force in Alaska and Utah, Rick completed his Bachelor’s of Psychology and Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology at Sam Houston State University. He worked in Texas, Alaska and Oregon in clinical and supervisory positions, as well as in in the capacity of a university professor in programs for Counseling and Developmental Disabilities. During this period Rick also functioned as a clinical consultant for mental health and human service agencies, as well as training and consulting for large corporations such as the National Corporation for Public Broadcasting and Alyeska Pipeline Service Company. Rick has provided teaching, training and consultation internationally in Russia, Cuba, Jamaica and Guatemala.

After many years in the mental health field, Rick completed his Administrative Licensure program at University of Oregon and transitioned into public school leadership in areas of alternative education and special education, including acting as Student Services Director of one of the largest school districts in Oregon.

Rick’s career of over 30 years in mental health and education has primarily been focused on supporting individuals of all ages who are impacted by trauma and/or have diagnoses or conditions that present in challenging behaviors, as well as training and coaching agencies and professionals in working with these populations. After becoming trained in the Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS) model and understanding it’s power to have remarkable impact on the neurobiology of children/youth with trauma to promote healing and recovery, Rick knew that a new, more defined course had been set for his professional path. He recognized the power of the CPS model to transform the lives of children and youth and to empower the adults who serve them. This conviction serves as the catalyst for the work he does today training, consulting and coaching on CPS and broader topics of trauma-informed practices.

Rick can be contacted through Bowman Consulting Group website as well as via email at

Diana Photo 100x152 pixelsDiana Browning Wright
Educational/Behavioral Consultant, DianaBrowningWright INC., Sierra Madre, California

Diana Browning Wright, MS, LEP, is a well-known initiative leader with successful Behavioral RTI/MTSS, LRE and restrictive settings for EBD, writing effective behavior plans, V-stag evidence based threat assessment, 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, traumatic brain injury, 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 for LRP publications, a book on TBI implications for educators, and three editions of “Positive Interventions for Serious Behavior Problems” published by the State of California as well as many other 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. Much of her work is accessible at no cost at

David Garner
Attorney at Law, Osborn Maledon, Phoenix, Arizona

As a parent of five and former high school English and ESL teacher in Arizona, Dave Garner understands the challenges faced by educators, administrators, and the parents and students they work with. Dave took his love for schools with him into the practice of law, and for more than eighteen years, he has regularly represented public, K-12 schools in litigation, administrative hearings, OCR complaint investigations, compliance issues, board governance matters, employment matters, student matters, policy advice, and day-to-day issues of all stripes. With a specific focus on legal issues involving students with disabilities, Dave counsels his clients on disability-related policies, procedures, best practices, and regularly presents on disability-related topics at national and local conferences

KAH 100x140 pixelsKaren A. Haase
Attorney at Law, Principal, KSB School Law, Lincoln, Nebraska

Karen Haase is a principal in the Lincoln law firm KSB School Law where she practices exclusively in the area of education law. She frequently presents in-services to the students and staff and speaks to all manners of education groups.

Ms. Haase graduated from the University of Nebraska School of Law with highest distinction. She also obtained a Maters of Arts in Political Rhetoric from Kansas State University in 1991 and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hastings College. Prior to practicing private practice, she spent two years as a law clerk to the Honorable C. Arlen Beam, a Circuit Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.

Ms. Haase has taught on the university level and has served as an adjunct instructor in the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s educational administration department. She is the author of several articles published in academic journals. Three of her articles have appeared in the NEBRASKA LAW REVIEW: one December, 2000, entitled Challenges to Regulating Students’ Exotic Body Piercing; another in 1997, entitled Mixed Metaphors; Model Civil Jury Instructions for Title VII Disparate Treatment Claims, and a third in 1995, entitled You Can Check Out Any Time You Like, but You Can Never Leave: Attorney Conflict of Interest and Imputed Disqualification under Nebraska’s New Bright Line Rule. Ms. Haase is a past president of The National Counsel of School Attorneys and the Nebraska Bar Association and is admitted to the U.S. District Court, District of Nebraska, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Nebraska Supreme Court.

Graham Hicks photo 100x133 pixelsGraham Hicks
Attorney at Law, Graham M. Hicks, P.C., Beaverton, 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 and serves on the Dispute Resolution Committee of the Oregon Department of Education.  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.

Mary Schillinger photo 100x150 pixelsMary Schillinger
Educational Consultant/ former Assistant Superintendent of Education, Collaboration for Success, Simi Valley, California

Mary Schillinger has been an Assistant Superintendent for Education in Southern California for 10 years. Her career began as a general education teacher and then a special education resource teacher, before she moved into administration as a district program specialist, director of special education, and assistant superintendent of education. Mary has Masters Degrees in Special Education and Educational Administration. Mary has planned the professional development and strategic planning for implementation of the Common Core State Standards for both general education and special education K-12. As an educational consultant, Mary conducts training and gives presentations on a range of topics including alignment of the IEP to new Core State Standards and successful practices in accessing the rigor of Core State Standards for students with disabilities. As part of her work as a consultant and trainer, Mary has trained county teams in a trainer of trainer’s model for best practices in supporting special education students in the rigor of new state standards. Additional training topics include Co-Teaching for Special Education student success, Universal Design for Learning for all in the Core Standards, Essential Standards Implementation, and Building Defensible Programs for Students with Autism.  She has presented at national and state level conferences for the past ten years.

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 has also 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, Common Core and the Special Education Student:  Your Guide to Instructional Shifts and Implementing Services and Supports in 2014, and Successfully Implementing Core Standards for Students with Disabilities:  A Professional Development Guide, in 2015.

Mary can be contacted through her website, as well as through her business, Collaboration for Success at

Shawn Slater
Behavioral Health Specialist, State of Hawaii, Department of Education, School Based Behavioral Health, Honolulu, Hawaii

Shawn Slater has been a Clinical Social Worker for 32 years.He has spent 14 years in Medical Social Work, Hospital, Emergency Room, Home-Health Care in Rural Setting, Psychiatric Consultation, and Nephrology. He has been a  Multi-Disciplinary Team Consultant in child abuse & neglect, Forensic Examiner, Felix Consent Decree Service Testing Court Monitor, and an Intensive Home-Based Therapist. In addition, he has spent 18 years with the Hawaii Department of Education and has been in Private Practice, currently specializing in Supervision. He is a treatment specialist in disruptive behavior and trauma (EMDR Certified). He worked on implementation of Kupa’a Academy for State of Hawaii, and was a field educator for UH Manoa School of Social Work.

Jan Tomsky
Attorney at Law, Fagen Friedman & Fulfrost, Oakland, California

A nationally recognized leader in special education law, Ms. Tomsky has represented school district clients in mediations and due process hearings, as well as in special education-related litigation in both state and federal courts and in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Her expertise in special education matters has helped scores of districts to address issues and resolve disputes in this specialized field. Additionally, Ms. Tomsky has assisted districts in countless student expulsion hearings, particularly those that involve complex or sensitive issues, and has successfully defended districts’ decisions on appeal to county boards and in court.

Ms. Tomsky presents at state and regional conferences throughout the country, but most enjoys designing and delivering workshops for individual districts, which are specifically tailored to address their unique needs. Ms. Tomsky is the author of Personal Liability for IDEA Violations: Where the Courts Stand, and was a contributing author to The Administrator’s Guide to Building and Maintaining a Comprehensive Autism Program and IDEA Due Process Survival Guide, all of which are LRP publications.

Ms. Tomsky earned her law degree from the University of California at Berkeley/Boalt Hall, and also holds a Master’s Degree in Education, with emphases in special education and student development.

Diane Wiscarson 100x150 pixelsDiane F. Wiscarson,
Attorney at Law, Wiscarson Law, Portland, Oregon

Diane 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. Since founding Wiscarson Law almost 20 years ago, Diane actively represents families throughout Oregon and Washington. Diane is a member of the Counsel of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, and has served on the Dispute Resolution Committee for the Oregon Department of education for a decade. 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.

Perry A. Zirkel
University Professor Emeritus of Education and Law at Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Perry A. Zirkel is university professor emeritus of education and law at Lehigh University, where he formerly was dean of the College of Education, subsequently held the Iacocca Chair in Education for its five-year term, and continues to co-direct the Lehigh Special Education Law Symposium. He has a Ph.D. in Educational Administration and a J.D. from the University of Connecticut, and a Master of Laws degree from Yale University. He has done presentations in every state in the U.S. He has written more than 1,550 publications on various aspects of school law, with an emphasis on legal issues in special education. He writes a regular column for Exceptionality journal, NAESP’s Principal magazine and NASP’s Communiqué newsletter, and he did so previously for Phi Delta Kappan and Teaching Exceptional Children. Past president of the Education Law Association and co-chair of the Pennsylvania special education appeals panel from 1990 to 2007, he is the author of the CEC monograph The Legal Meaning of Specific Learning Disability; the more recently published books, A Digest of Supreme Court Decisions Affecting Education and Student Teaching and the Law; and the two-volume reference Section 504, the ADA and the Schools, now in its fourth edition. In 2012, he received the Research into Practice Award from the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the Excellence in Research Award from AERA’s Division A (Administration, Organization & Leadership). In 2013, he received the University Council for Educational Administration’s Edwin Bridges award for significant contributions to the preparation and development of school leaders. In 2016, he received the Education Law Association’s Steven S. Goldberg Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Education Law, and in 2017 he received the Council for Exceptional Children’s Special Education Research Award.