The 2022 Advocacy Academy is proud to feature speakers who are leaders in their professions and the field of school based mental health delivery, reform, and research. The speakers listed below will be participating in panels, delivering keynotes, and sharing their expertise on creating equitable access to school mental health services throughout the 2022 Advocacy Academy.
Renee Bradley, Ph.D., has over thirty-five years of experience in special education. She began her career as a teacher of students with emotional and behavioral disabilities. During those eight years she worked in a variety of settings from self-contained to an inclusion program to providing homebound services working with children preschool through high school. After working in a teacher training master’s program for non-traditional students, Renee joined the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, Research to Practice Division in 1997. Among her accomplishments she has served as the project officer for the National Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions, coordinated the OSEP Attract, Prepare and Retain Personnel Initiative, the Learning Disabilities Initiative, and the Partnership Project. Renee has written and contributed to numerous publications and is a frequent presenter on special education issues. Renee has a bachelors and master’s in special education from the College of Charleston and her Ph.D. in Leadership and Policy from the University of South Carolina.
Sharon A. Hoover, Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist and Professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Co-Director of the National Center for School Mental Health (NCSMH, www.schoolmentalhealth.org), and Director of the Center for Safe Supportive Schools (CS3). She currently leads national efforts to support states, districts and schools in the adoption of national performance standards of comprehensive school mental health systems (www.theSHAPEsystem.com). Dr. Hoover has led and collaborated on multiple federal and state grants, with a commitment to the study and implementation of quality children’s mental health services. Currently, she co-leads two large randomized trials of school mental health efforts, one focused on reducing exclusionary discipline practices by installing mental health and restorative practice approaches and one on improving school mental health services with best practices in family engagement, educator mental health literacy and modularized evidence-based clinical practices.
Celeste Malone, PhD, MS, is an associate professor and coordinator of the school psychology program at Howard University. She received her PhD in school psychology from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. Prior to obtaining her doctorate, Dr. Malone received her MS in school counseling from Johns Hopkins University. Her primary research interest relates to multicultural and diversity issues embedded in the training and practice of school psychology. Specifically, Dr. Malone focuses on multicultural competence, the ability to work effectively with diverse populations through the application of cultural knowledge and to demonstrate awareness of and sensitivity to cultural issues. The overarching themes of her research are as follows: 1) development of multicultural competence through education and training, 2) diversification of the profession, and 3) the relationship between culturally competent practice and PK-12 student outcomes. Related to her interest in professional issues in school psychology, Dr. Malone has continuously held leadership positions in psychology professional associations. She currently serves on the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) Board of Directors as the strategic liaison for the social justice strategic goal. In that capacity, Dr. Malone works closely with NASP boards and committees to develop and implement programs and activities to address social justice issues in school psychology and education. Additionally, Dr. Malone is an elected member of the American Psychological Association (APA) Board of Educational Affairs, the governance group which develops policies for education and training in psychology.
Dr. Byron McClure is a National Certified School Psychologist who redesigned a high school in Southeast, D.C. His work centers around influencing change and ensuring students from high-poverty communities have access to a quality education. Dr. McClure has extensive knowledge and expertise in mental health, social-emotional learning, and behavior. Dr. McClure has done considerable work advocating for healing-centered practices for all students, particularly, for African-American boys. He has designed and implemented school-wide initiatives such as SEL, restorative practices, MTSS, and trauma-responsive practices. As a result of this work, his school won the 2019-2020 Whole Child Award. Dr. McClure has presented across the country as a panelist, featured, and keynote speaker. He believes in maximizing everyone’s limitless potential.
Valerie C. Williams (invited speaker) serves as the director in the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) within the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services at the U.S. Department of Education. In this role, she is responsible for overseeing administration of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which authorizes formula grants to states under IDEA Part B and to lead agencies for the infants and families program under IDEA Part C. IDEA also authorizes discretionary grants under IDEA Part D to institutions of higher education and other non-profit organizations to support grants for state personnel development, technical assistance and dissemination, technology, and parent training and information centers.
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