MEET OUR STAFF

Education Spectrum develops and provides
effective and targeted community-based services
for neurodiverse individuals to effect
positive growth in their lives.

 

  For over 25 years, Education Spectrum has provided quality services to children, adolescents, their families, educators and professionals. Through our unique blend of individual, family and group programs, our goal is to foster their social, emotional, behavioral, communicative and learning potential by implementing specifically tailored intervention techniques. We believe that individuals with autism spectrum disorders make the most progress when approached with respect, compassion and a true understanding of their needs.

MEET OUR STAFF

Education Spectrum develops and provides effective, targeted community-based services for neurodiverse individuals to promote positive growth in their lives.

 
For over 25 years, Education Spectrum has provided quality services to children, adolescents, their families, educators and professionals. Through our unique blend of individual, family and group programs, our goal is to foster their social, emotional, behavioral, communicative and learning potential by implementing specifically tailored intervention techniques. We believe that individuals with autism spectrum disorders make the most progress when approached with respect, compassion and a true understanding of their needs.

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FOUNDERS

DIANE HOWARD

Co-Founder
Executive Director Emeritus

Diane had over 50 years experience both in the classroom and Executive Administration.  Diane was awarded a Lifetime Credential in Special Education.  As a co-founder of the organization, Diane brought a a wealth of experience and direction to the staff at Education Spectrum. After overseeing its operation and countless hours meeting with families, Diane retired in February, 2020.  

KATHY HOLLIMON, MA

Co-Founder
Director of Training & Consultation

Kathy has worked extensively with individuals with autism for 30 years. She holds three teaching credentials and a Master’s Degree in human development. Her thesis was a case study on effective school based intervention for an individual with high functioning autism. She is also a Board Certified Education Therapist. Kathy’s expertise includes training and consultation services to school districts to develop effective programs for individuals with ASD and related disorders. When Functional Behavior Analysis or a specific behavior plan is needed, Kathy is frequently called in by both school districts as well as parents.​

 

Kathy also facilitates groups at Education Spectrum and conducts training for parents and educators.

CATHY GOTT, MPA

Co-Founder
President

Cathy, who was instrumental in co-founding Education Spectrum, has an adult son with autism. Cathy, Commissioner, Los Angeles County Commission on Disabilities, holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and recognized the need for this innovative program based on personal experience with her child. Cathy, and her husband Jim, are passionate about helping other parents navigate their way through the joys and challenges of having children with autism. Jim is a former MLB pitcher and currently coaches for the MLB Draft League. They work tirelessly to raise awareness and acceptance for those with developmental differences. 

EXECUTIVE TEAM

NATHAN ROETTGER, MS

Executive Director

Nathan joined Education Spectrum in 2000 and brought more than 25 years experience as a Special Education Teacher and Resource Specialist.  Nathan holds both a BS in Psychology and a Masters Degree in Special Education.  He held the position of Program Director for many years and was recently promoted to Executive Director. In addition to the many administrative duties, Nathan works hands-on with many groups and clients.

FRANCES Roettger, MA

Director of Programs

Frances joined Education Spectrum as an Instructor to provide additional support in the Community Integration Program and Social Skills Group. Frances has her BA in Interdisciplinary Studies and her Master’s in Special Education, focus on Special Education. She is currently in the Credentials program at National University. She has recently joined Education Spectrum as a Program Director.

DEBBIE CORNEJO

Office Manager

Director of Administration

Debbie joined Education Spectrum in 2001 and has 34 years of working with families providing support and guidance through the system. She interacts on a daily basis with regional centers and currently volunteers on a regional center committee. Her involvement to advocate as a supportive parent to families within Education Spectrum and other parents has been her focus over the years. Debbie has a neurodiverse adult son who has been her inspiration in his lifetime journey.  She is involved in civic and community outreach. Debbie also provides support to contracted school districts that Education Spectrum serves. 

STAFF

SAM ROSENTHAL-REES

Assistant Instructor

Sam is from London, England and moved to Los Angeles at the end of last year. He graduated from the University of Birmingham with a BA in Political Science and International Relations. He has supported administrative duties for the non-profit organization Special Spirit based in Shadow Hills, that supports those on the spectrum through equine assisted therapies. In addition, he has worked directly with individuals with neurodiverse individuals at Danny’s Farm. Sam joined Education Spectrum this year, as an Assistant Instructor. 

OLIVER DEMETRIOU-COFFEY

Job Coach

Oliver is from London and moved to Los Angeles last year. Oliver is the Job Coach for Danny Gott, the namesake of Danny’s Farm, a petting farm located at Moonshadow Ranch in Shadow Hills. He is also the Part Time Manager for Moonshadow’s boarding facility. Oliver works closely with challenged individuals of all ages,  and teaches them adaptive riding lessons. 

SHENAE LATUT

Assistant Instructor

Shenae has long been a part of diverse communities, taking part in volunteer work for many years. She has spent 20 years in the medical field. For the last 2 years, she has worked in the local area as a volunteer at Special Spirit and Danny’s farm. She recently began working at a nonprofit organization, providing services for adults with special needs. She works alongside a neurodiverse individual who is a zookeeper at Danny’s Farm as well as a team member. Her work at the farm has now expanded to joining the team Education Spectrum as an assistant instructor.

 

JESSIE MENDEZ

Assistant Instructor

Jesse brings a wealth of experience, a big heart, and willingness to help others achieve. He is a certified trainer, specializing in functional mobility. He is currently studying to become a pilot, training in aviation. Jesse works as an aide for a neurodiverse young man. He has recently joined the Education Spectrum team as an assistant instructor.

Spanish Speaking

TAMRA PAULY

Lead Independent Facilitator

Coaching Director SGPRC Project

Tamra is as highly regarded Independent Facilitator and helps Regional Center clients achieve their dreams through Self-Determination.  She is an expert in Person-Centered Planning and has a deep understanding of how to guide families through the transition to the Self-Determination Program.  Tamra is currently training other Independent Facilitators and is a rising start in this new program.  All Regional Center Families will be able to transition to the Self-Determination Program in June 2021.  She is a pioneer in the field and we are fortunate to have her on the Education Spectrum team.

Tamra Pauly has been involved with the Self-Determination process since 2015, attending advisory committee meetings and trainings as this movement evolved into what it is today.  She is certified in Person-Centered Employment (ACRE) and has trained in Maps and Paths and Person-Centered Thinking. She has been a working Independent Facilitator since 2019, and has completed over 26 person centered plans and has 19 families in full Self-Determination with more in process. 

 

She is also a trainer for the LAPD and together with her son they work with the Mental Evaluation Unit to help officers understand what autism looks like and how to communicate with limited speakers like her son, Matt, who is now 30.  She has trained over 6,000 officers.

SELF-DETERMINATION PROGRAM TEAM

Self-Determination is a natural development of the Person-Centered Planning process.
Self-Determination
assures neurodiverse individuals the authority to make meaningful choices and control their own lives. It involves providing choices and new experiences.

ELIZABETH CUEVAS

Independent Facilitator

Community Connector

My husband and I are parents of 3 boys. Our oldest son was diagnosed with autism in 2006. As a former teacher, I had experience on the other side of the IEP conference table, and now I found myself in the much harder position as a parent at the IEP table. Although my husband and I were both educators, we still had an impossibly difficult time getting our child services through the school district. I started to help other parents when I could. Throughout the years, like most parents of a child with special needs, we feel we have earned “honorary degrees” in special education, social work, nursing, insurance billing, advocacy, etc. I have been active in working with my son and working to create positive change in my community. I have been a member of the Community/Legislative Committee as well as the SGPRC Board from 2009-2013. I am currently a Board member of the Parents Place Family Empowerment and Resource Center and the President of the Rowland Unified School District Special Education CAC Community Advisory Committee. I am also proud to be a Teach For America Corp Member Alumni.

Spanish Speaking

FELICIA FORD

​Independent Facilitator
Community Connector

Felicia Ford is an African American, Special Needs Mother/Parent Advocate. She is the proud mother of an 18-year-old young lady with developmental disabilities, who she says is her greatest teacher, and her two adult sons, who are co-caregivers for their sister.

Felicia is also a State of CA Licensed CNA, Home Health Aid, State of CA Licensed Life and Health Insurance Agent, Community Mental Health Worker, an Advocate with California Black Women's Health Project, an outspoken advocate for equity in our California Regional Center System and other systems of care.


She places herself in rooms and spaces reserved for people very unlike herself to impart a greater understanding of under represented communities with the intention of sharing insight, perspective, and to engage in securing the best possible outcomes for the people she serves. Achieving self reliance in families that often experience disparity is her passion. 

JULIE LAROSE

Operations Manager
Independent Facilitator

Julie's extensive background and education in Business Management, coupled with her specific training in Budgeting and Spending, bring a high level of professionalism and experience to our team.  She is also the proud mother, champion, and advocate of two neurodiverse children, one of whom is nonverbal.

Julie is an Independent Facilitator, trained in the Liberty Plan Method, accredited in the person-centered practice of  “Planning Live,” and certified through The Guidelight Group.

 

Each aspect of Julie’s background has contributed to her ability to empower other families, and help those with diverse needs to find their own paths. Her Midwestern values and collaborative spirit give her the unique ability to make people feel at ease.  She is particularly experienced in assisted technology and working with minimally or non-verbal clients.

CONNIE SUN

Independent Facilitator
Community Connector

Connie is a mom with a 26-year-old daughter with a disability and a 24 year-old daughter currently attending graduate school to become a speech pathologist.  Connie has been a special education teacher for over 20 years.  She is also a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.  She has n agency that is a vendor of the Regional Center.

Connie enjoys helping students and clients thrive in their ability and strength.  Her current goal is to find employment for the clients and students she has worked with in the past.

In 2019, her daughter was selected to be in the SDP from SG/PRC.  For two years, she and her daughter persevered through the process with their Independent Facilitator, Service Coordinator and managers.  On February 1, 2021, her daughter's service transitioned to SDP.  In April they began to set up a website to support her daughter's choice of employment. 

Connie would like to support the parents in the SDP process, so that their child can also experience the same success her daughter is having by having the ability to determine her future with the ones who know her best. 

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As part of Education Spectrum's services, we may recommend you to various third parties.  You understand and acknowledge that your engagement with these third parties for any types of services is strictly at your own risk and you must do your own due diligence before engaging with any such third parties.  We may provide suggestions of third parties with whom to engage, but we cannot be liable or responsible for the conduct of such third parties, and hereby disclaim any warranties or guarantees related to such third parties.