Sunday, July 10

Sunday, July 10


3:00 – 3:15 p.m.

Speaker: Antonis Katsiyannis
President, Council for Exceptional Children


CEC President Antonis Katsiyannis received his doctorate from the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va., in general school administration/special education administration, along with specialization in behavioral disorders. After completing his doctorate in 1989, Dr. Katsiyannis was employed by the Virginia Department of Education in the Federal Monitoring Unit and taught at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

Currently, as a Distinguished Alumni Professor of Special Education with Clemson University, he teaches courses in assessment, applied behavior analysis, and legal and policy issues. He has published numerous articles in the areas of legal and policy issues associated with special education, delinquency, and issues involving students with emotional or behavioral disorders in professional journals, such as Behavioral Disorders, CEC’s Exceptional Children, Remedial and Special Education, and the Journal of Special Education. He serves in several editorial boards and as the co-editor of the Journal of Disability Policy Studies.

Speaker: Gary Myrah
President, Council of Administrators of Special Education (CASE)


Gary Myrah is the presiding president of CASE. He also serves as the executive director for the Wisconsin Council of Administrators of Special Services. In 2011, Gary retired as a director of special education/pupil services after 34 years of service.  Some of his experiences include serving as president of five different professional organizations in Wis.  In addition, he has served as the chair of the CASE professional development committee.

He has also had the honor of being selected four times as the chair of the Wisconsin State Superintendent’s Advisory Council on Special Education. He has received the Dan O’Sullivan award twice and the John Melcher Award once in his career (now known as the Outstanding Administrator of the Year Award).  Currently, he is a member of the State Superintendent’s Collaboration Council, the Wisconsin Safe Schools/Healthy Student Statewide Steering Committee, the Statewide RtI/PBIS Steering Committee, and is an executive of the Wisconsin School Administrators Alliance.

Opening Session

3:00 – 4:15 p.m.

Speaker: Kyle Kondik
Managing editor, Sabato’s Crystal Ball

What is the Future of Education Policy in a Post-2016 Election World

kyle2Kyle Kondik is managing editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball, the Center for Politics’ authoritative, nonpartisan newsletter on American campaigns and elections. Kondik’s analysis of presidential, congressional, and gubernatorial politics has been cited by the BBC, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, BuzzFeed, and numerous other publications, and he is a frequent contributor to Politico Magazine. Kondik also serves as the Center’s communications director and is based in Washington, where he manages the Center’s D.C. office.

State Teams Breakout Sessions

Presenter: Myrna Mandlawitz
Consultant, Governmental Relations, Council of Administrators of Special Education

Advocacy Strategies for Capitol Hill Visits
4:15 – 4:45 p.m.


Myrna Mandlawitz has worked for over 20 years as a consultant/lobbyist on special and general education and currently consults for six national organizations on federal policy and legislation.  Ms. Mandlawitz is a former president of the Committee for Education Funding, a coalition of 116 national organizations supporting increased federal investment in education.  In addition, she served for 12 years as co-chair of the National Alliance of Specialized Instructional Support Personnel.  Previously, she held the position of director of government relations for the National Association of State Directors of Special Education.

Ms. Mandlawitz’s publications include, among others, “Special Education After 40 Years: What Lies Ahead (ASCD, 2016),” “What Every Teacher Should Know about IDEA 2004 Law and Regulations (Pearson, 2007),” “Special Education Law (Co-author, Pearson, 2008),” and “A Tale of 3 Cities: Urban Perspectives on Special Education (Center on Education Policy, 2003).” She is also a contributing author of “Social Policy for Children and Families: A Risk and Resilience Perspective, Third Edition (SAGE Publications, 2015)” and the “Handbook of Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders-3rd Edition (Wiley, 2005).”

Ms. Mandlawitz, a native of Va., spent 14 years as a classroom teacher and assisted in the development of Virginia’s program for infants and toddlers with disabilities.  She holds a master’s degree in early childhood education from Boston University and a law degree from Temple University.

Presenter: Deb Ziegler
Director, Policy and Advocacy – Council for Exceptional Children

Introduce Legislative Talking Points
5:00 – 7:00 p.m.


Deborah A. Ziegler is the director for policy and advocacy at the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), one of the world’s premier special education organizations.

She has broad public policy experience at the international, national, state, and local levels. Dr. Ziegler works to further the overall goals of CEC through improving policies affecting exceptional children and youth and the professionals who work with them, at all levels of government. In her position, she is responsible for providing leadership and direction for the association’s public policy agenda, including policy development, implementation, and analysis; information collection and dissemination; and maintaining a grassroots network of Children and Youth Action Network (CAN ) Coordinators. She works closely with the White House, the United States Congress, and the Federal Agencies including the U.S. Department of Education to advocate for policies that guarantee a free appropriate public education for children and youth with disabilities and gifts and talents.

Dr. Ziegler has worked as a special education teacher, special education administrator and faculty at the university level. She has consulted widely and written extensively in the policy arena.

Presenter: Phyllis Wolfram
Executive Director, Special Programs, Springfield Missouri Public Schools


Phyllis Wolfram is the executive director of special programs for the Springfield R-12 School District in Springfield, Mo.  She has worked in the field of education for 33 years.  Phyllis’ administrative experience spans 27 years in the field of special education administration at the local level. She has been a local special education director in three different districts ranging in size from a small rural district to the largest urban district in the state of Missouri.  In addition, she has experience in the area of gifted education, Section 504, ELL and early childhood.

Phyllis is currently the president elect for CEC’s Council of Administrators of Special Education (CASE).  Prior to this position, she served as the chair of the CASE policy and legislative committee for three years. She has also chaired the CASE ad hoc committee on IDEA Reauthorization in 2010, and served as a member of the CASE task force, design for the future, 2005. In her home state of Missouri, Phyllis serves on the Governor’s Commission on Autism Spectrum Disorders and has served on various state level committees including Early Childhood Special Education, Electronic IEP Development, Missouri’s RTI initiative, Transition from School to Work, and the Elementary English Language Arts Advisory Committee.