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About our team

The Weiss Center benefits from a team of nationally recognized experts with proven experience across a range of practice areas, including accessibility, technical assistance. project management, and technology development.

Fred Edora, M.B.A. headshot

PROJECT CO-DIRECTOR

Fred is an established data, reporting, and project management leader. His areas of expertise include statistical programming, data management, and data visualization. Fred has over 15 years of experience developing data driven solutions with the ability to articulate key insights to decision makers in government.

Johan Rempel, B.A. headshot

PROJECT CO-DIRECTOR

Johan is employed as a User Experience and Information and Communications Technology Quality Assurance Manager at the Center for Inclusive Design and Innovation (CIDI) at Georgia Tech. Johan oversees digital accessibility and user experience initiatives for local, state and national organizations throughout the country, and has worked in disability awareness and accessibility for over 20 years.

Bill Huennekens, M.A., CPMP headshot

SENIOR ADVISOR

Bill has over 30 years’ experience managing complex organizations and information technology projects. He is the portfolio director of work on the Office of Special Education Programs’ Data Centers and a nationally recognized leader on Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) data systems. As the director overseeing the Center for the Integration of IDEA Data and the Generate application, Bill’s expertise includes the intersection and integration of special education data systems with general education data systems.

Jim J. Lesko, Ed.D. headshot

SENIOR ADVISOR

Jim has over 40 years of experience in early education, early intervention (EI), early childhood special education (ECSE), and system/organizational management. He is a leader at both a national and state levels and has experience as a national Technical Assistance (TA) center director, IDEA Part B/Section 619 state coordinator, State Improvement Grant EI/ECSE outcomes data project manager, school administration, and researcher.

Mark Harniss, Ph.D. headshot

SENIOR ADVISOR

Mark has 25 years of service in the fields of special education, rehabilitation medicine, and assistive technology. His work focuses on the development of educational and informational materials for people with disabilities and their families or caregivers. Mark also focuses on the accessibility of products and materials used by people with disabilities, including the role of assistive technology.

Valerie Morrison, Ph.D. headshot

ACCESSIBILITY LEAD

Valerie manages the E-Text Department at CIDI at Georgia Institute of Technology, making accessible materials for individuals with print-related disabilities. Valerie and her team collaborate with university staff, publishers, corporations, and state agencies to ensure the documents they create and distribute will be accessible to those who rely on screen readers, text to speech software, or other assistive technology to access documents.

Nichole Bui, M.S. headshot

TECHNOLOGY LEAD

Nichole has 30 years of experience leading the development of business and information technology solutions in nonprofit, federal, and private sectors. She is passionate about using technology to solve business problems and making an impact to end users. Nichole guides teams to achieve strategic client objectives, from planning to implementation, leveraging Agile principles and practices.

Jennifer Schaaf, Ph.D. headshot

TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE LEAD

Jennifer has more than 20 years of experience in education research, evaluation, and technical assistance. She currently works on providing technical assistance to states to improve their IDEA data and reporting as well as to federally funded projects to improve their evaluations. Dr. Schaaf is also a research associate professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of North Carolina (UNC), Chapel Hill.

Darren Wright, M.S. headshot

DISSEMINATION AND COMMUNICATION LEAD

Darren has experience serving individuals with disabilities as a former Individualized Education Plan Manager and current TA Provider supporting state education agencies (SEAs) in their special education data integration efforts. He manages the execution of several deliverables surrounding web development and national stakeholder engagement through various dissemination mechanisms.

Sara Sinani, M.A. headshot

PART B TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE LEAD

Sara brings 15 years’ experience in IDEA data management and analysis, including collecting, reporting, analyzing, and creating reports used in presentations and policy making. Most recently, she has led technical assistance for several SEAs working to implement Generate for the Center for the Integration of IDEA Data.

Tony Ruggiero, M.A. headshot

PART C TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE LEAD

Tony has over 27 years’ experience in the public, non-profit, and private sectors in data management, data collection, reporting, and analysis in health and education. Tony is a subject matter expert and provides technical assistance for The Center for IDEA Early Childhood Data Systems (DaSy), IDEA Data Center (IDC), Common Education Data Standards (CEDS), and National Center for Education Outcomes (NCEO).

Emily Deaver, Ph.D. headshot

PROJECT COORDINATOR

Emily has a wealth of experience as a Support Center Analyst and Escalation Lead providing support to SEAs and Local Education Agencies. As the Project Coordinator, she supports the management of project activities, engagements, events, and initiatives.

Judy Lee, Ph.D. headshot

EVALUATION LEAD

Judy is the founder and president of True North Evaluation, a small woman-owned business that provides program evaluation and project planning services to federally funded TA centers, state agencies, foundations, philanthropies, and nonprofits. She collaborates with project teams to collect, analyze, and report findings that promote data use so project services may reach their True North—improved outcomes for children, youth, and families.

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