Dianne holds an Ed.S from St. Thomas University in K-12 Educational Leadership. She also holds a B.S.Ed. from the University of Georgia and an M.Ed. from Georgia State University. She has been in education for over 20 years in four states. Dianne has been a classroom teacher, writing coach, building level administrator, Outreach Coordinator for the Indiana Department of Education, and now owner of INcompassing Education.
As a consultant, Dianne works with educational leaders in the areas of school turnaround, curriculum, assessments, PBIS, strategic planning, instructional coaching, and school and district leadership. Dianne has been providing professional development to educators for the past 18 years. She is proud to serve Indiana educators as they strive for excellence.
“Dianne’s knowledge base of working with many schools in many states under many different kinds of standards is rich and deep. It brings deep overall understanding of the instructional process and what truly works in education. She is able to dispel many wrong perception and attitudes about what effective classroom instruction should be. [She has the] ability to quickly assess where teachers are and accommodate their needs into every PD session. Dianne has become a professional colleague and friend to our principals and teachers.”
Cris McCoy, Principal Sugar Creek Elementary
“[Working with Dianne] made me feel empowered. Before the process, I was totally overwhelmed and angry when we received a poor school letter grade. I wanted to be a strong leader, but didn’t know what that would look like or how to do it. Through the process, I discovered that when you are overwhelmed, that it’s very hard to make positive change happen. I learned that being a good leader doesn’t mean doing it all, it means doing it all together. I learned that I had to trust the process, (after all, we didn’t have much to lose at that point) and those around me. There were times it was very challenging, but I knew that I had support. I gained confidence, and feel much more equipped to lead change in a school.”
Dr. Daniel Mendez
Dr. Danny Mendez holds a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Indiana State University. His 18 year career as an educator spans across the entire K-12 spectrum. He has most recently served as a Director of Secondary Education and prior to that served as the principal of an elementary school with a high poverty and high EL population. His work as the Director of Secondary Education involved all secondary programming, professional development, budgeting, support and evaluation of all secondary building principals and instructional coaches. During his time as a principal, his school was honored with 3 national awards: 2010 National Title 1 Distinguished School, 2013 TAP Ambassador School, 2016 TAP Founders’ Award.
Dr. Mendez’s school served as an example of what was possible. He worked with leadership teams from over 100 schools that were seeking guidance for growth. In addition he has worked with a number of other schools through his work as the Lead Peer Coach for the Indiana University Effective Leaders Academy. Dr. Mendez’s work with all schools addressed both technical and cultural change as they go hand in hand to grow teachers and students.
Areas of Focus: instructional leadership, instructional coaching, leadership capacity, leadership teams, principal development, professional development structure, data analysis practice, cultural change, technical change: scheduling, resource allocation, human capital allocation, keynote speaker
Dr. Jake Allen, Assistant Superintendent Mooresville Consolidated School Corp.
Dr. Danny Mendez is one of the most passionate educators that I have met in my 20 years in the field. Danny has shown amazing success with some of the most challenging student demographics; his knowledge, experience, and energy will undoubtedly benefit your leadership and improve student learning in your district. Dr. Mendez is truly one of the best!
Mrs. Lora Hansell, Principal in Perry Township Schools
As a school administrator I have had the privilege of working alongside Dr. Danny Mendez for six years and experienced firsthand the impact of his leadership. He is a very passionate educator that works tirelessly to put student-centered systematic approaches in place to positively impact student achievement. Dr. Mendez has a passion for growing strong leaders and has helped many school leaders effectively implement the technical and cultural change necessary to increase their school’s student achievement. Danny is an amazing educator that has made it his life’s work to help others lead successful schools.
Elizabeth Avery has a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor Associate. She has worked in school mental health for eight years starting as a provider and administrator. As the Vice President of School-Based Services for Burrell Behavioral Health, she currently works with both rural and urban schools to develop and implement school mental health initiatives for their districts. Additionally, she has served on a number of committees in both Indiana and Missouri geared towards policy and legislative advocacy for school mental health. She is extremely passionate about supporting both students and school faculty through a trauma informed lens in order to lend to safe and healthy educational environments.
Denise Gulley, Fayette County School Corp.
Elizabeth’s Conference Presentations:
- Avery, E., Hill, A. (October 2018). It is Possible! A Strategy to Taking a “Whole School” Approach with SMH Initiatives as a Mental Health Center. Annual Conference on Advancing School Mental Health, Las Vegas, NV.
- Avery, E., Crume, J., & Gauss, C. (October 2017). Learn the Dance! Elements to Support SMH from a Community Mental Health Center Perspective. Annual Conference on Advancing School Mental Health, Washington, D.C.
- Avery, E., McNeany, J., & Blackburn, A. (June 2017). Utilizing Universal Screening Tools for Supporting Skill Instruction and Emotional Regulation. Annual Indiana School Health Network Conference, Indianapolis, IN.
- Avery, E. & Helmberger, T. (October 2016). Integrating School Mental Health with Urban PBIS Initiatives. Annual National Youth-at-Risk Conference, San Antonio, TX.
- Avery, E., & Spradling, J. (June 2016). Value Based Outcomes in Rural School Mental Health. Annual Indiana School Health Network Conference, Indianapolis, IN.
Tiffany Creager is a licensed school social worker. She has a background as an Early Childhood Education Director where she collaborated with teachers, board members, and parents to create an environment in which students could thrive academically, socially, and emotionally no matter the family’s financial circumstance. She was a School Social Worker for close to 600 students and partnered with administrators, teachers, and parents to integrate trauma sensitive practices school-wide which enabled them to see office referrals for aggressive behavior decrease from 59 in the first nine weeks to less than 10 in the third nine weeks. Tiffany was also a Director of School-Based Services for a Community Mental Health Center where she collaborated with over twenty schools to integrate mental health services and provide supportive training for mental health providers and educators. Additionally, she provided clinical therapeutic services to youth, adults, and families.
Tiffany specializes in social and emotional learning, trauma-informed schools, mindfulness, and supporting students’ and teachers’ mental health. She (and a co- presenter) recently partnered with the Indiana School Mental Health Initiative to provide training across the state of Indiana aimed at supporting the mental health of students in the classroom.
“I am grateful for Mrs. Creager’s influence upon our daily routines at Mt. Comfort Elementary. While she was at Mt. Comfort, she emphasized mindfulness and implemented cool-down zones in our classroom. She also initiated the Character Counts program — in which students demonstrate strong character attributes rather than simply learn about them. I teach first grade, and the students who came into my room last year already knew how to reach into their “mental toolboxes” and retrieve tools that Mrs. Creager had put in them the year before so they could be successful each day and in every circumstance. I appreciate Mrs. Creager’s work in giving our students the building blocks they need for success in life.” ~Amy McCleery, 1st grade teacher
“Mrs. Creager was an incredible asset to the students and staff within our building. She had such an amazing way of connecting with students and helping staff members do the same. I was truly blessed in my time of working with Mrs. Creager to learn so many skills that were helpful in working with students in my classroom. For example, she taught myself and my class the ability to breathe and relax through times that may have caused anxiety, for example – state testing. I saw so many students use these skills during testing each day and even after in the general classroom. Mrs. Creager’s knowledge about mental health would be an asset to any organization or facility.” ~Ashley Schenck, 5th grade teacher
Kandi Henriott holds a master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology as well as a Director of Exceptional Needs license. She has 13 years of experience working as a collaborative school team member to meet the varied needs of special education students in grades K-12. Kandi specializes in the development of social-emotional skills programming for students who struggle in these areas including those with autism and emotional disability. She is a member of her school district’s Transitional Autism Classroom where students learn the skills needed for successful transition back to the general education classroom. She also serves as the building PBIS chair coordinating the development of weekly school-wide instructional material for grades K-5. In addition to social skills training, Kandi is passionate about ensuring students with significant cognitive needs have equal access to the general education curriculum. She provides district training in curriculum material adaptation through use of visuals, aided language input, as well as augmentative- and alternative communication systems.
Callie Herrenbruck, Perry Township Schools
For 15 years, Amanda has been an educator in urban settings. She has a Master’s degree in both Educational Leadership and Administration and in Applied Behavioral Analysis with a focus on autism.
Amanda has been a classroom teacher, Building Options Coordinator for Indianapolis Public Schools, middle and high alternative school interim coordinator, and an Assistant Principal in a charter school. She has developed academic and behavioral plans, helped to reduce the number of suspensions or expulsions, led data collection, analysis, reporting for the Alternative Education Department, and provided data-driven procedures and strategies to implement for students to be successful in their least restrictive environment.
Amanda provides professional development for Autism and Alternative Education.
J.P. Mayer, Teacher at Hauser Jr-Sr High
“[Amanda is] speaking from experience and we appreciate that. [She] definitely gave me some strategies for the classroom and that’s exactly why I came today. Thank you!!”
Lynette Thrasher earned her Ed.S from Ball State University and continues work there toward her Ed.D in Education Leadership. She has served as a building administrator, classroom teacher, reading specialist, instructional and technology coach. She is currently working as a building administrator in a high poverty rural school with a high English Language Learner population. She is passionate about the power of relationship building with students and among colleagues in school. She specializes in literacy, technology, and bridging the gap between learners through differentiation and purposeful relationships. She has served on IDOE and WIDA committees and has presented on topics ranging from creating dynamic lessons to understanding and unpacking standards with a learner-centered approach.
Lauren A., Elementary EL Teacher
“The change from LAS Links to WIDA was overwhelming, especially with the introduction of the new English Language Development Standards. Lynette’s professional development was organized and informative for our teachers and allowed them to relax during the implementation. She was very knowledgeable about the changes coming and walked our teachers through the steps necessary to connect the English Language Development Standards to the Indiana College and Career Readiness Standards in our general education classrooms.”
Lynette’s Conference Presentations:
“It Matters”, National Youth At-Risk Conference.
“It Matters”, IN Middle Level Educators Association
“Tech Coach 101”, IN Connected Educators
“Uploading Literacy”, Catch the Wave Conference
“Uploading Literacy”, EngagedEDNWI
“Uploading Literacy Reloaded”, EngagedEDNWI