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Martin Institute Learning Seminar: Special Education: Understanding Needs and Resources

CBUlight HDThe Martin Institute for Teaching Excellence is pleased to be collaborating with Dr. Samantha Alperin and Dr. Wendy Ashcroft of Christian Brothers University to learn about Special Education: Understanding Needs and Resources.

Friday, November 15, 2013
Presbyterian Day School
Hussey Commons in the Early Childhood Building
Cost: $50 (lunch included)

Limited Seating - Register SOON!



8:00 - 8:30 Coffee
8:30 - 9:15 Characteristics and Needs of Students Who Need Special Education
9:15 - 10:00 Six Major Principles of The Individuals with Disabilities, Education Improvement Act
10:00 - 10:15 Break
10:15 - 11:30 Strategies for Working With Students With Special Needs
11:30 - 12:00 Video “I Can’t Do This, But I Can Do That”
12:00 - 12:45 Lunch (provided)
12:45 - 2:00 Family Perspectives, Understanding Evaluations and Participating in IEP’s, Community Resources

Speaker Bios

alperinSamantha Alperin, EdD, is Associate Professor of Education and Director of Undergraduate and Graduate Teacher Education Programs at Christian Brothers University (CBU) in Memphis, Tennessee. She teaches both Intro to Education at the undergraduate level, Intro to Exceptional Learners & Family and Community Consultation at the undergraduate and graduate levels at CBU.

Dr. Alperin earned her EdD from University of Memphis in Curriculum and Instruction in 2004. She taught for Shelby County Schools in preschool special education and resource until 2000.

She has 2 children, Parker, 15, a 10th grader at CBHS and Leeya, 12, a 7th grader at Bornblum Solomon Schechter School and has been married to Lon Alperin for 21 years.


Wendy-AshcroftWendy Ashcroft, EdD, is the director of field experience at Christian Brothers University (CBU) in Memphis, Tennessee. She teaches both graduate and undergraduate education courses and she coordinates practicum and student teaching experiences for developing teachers. In addition, she initiated and is continuously developing a special education degree and teaching licensure at CBU and is a doctoral-level board certified behavior analyst (BCBA- D).

Dr. Ashcroft earned a BA in psychology at Rhodes College and both an MEd and EdD in special education at the University of Memphis. For 11 years, she was a public school classroom teacher for students with autism, intellectual, physical, and multiple disabilities. For 21 years, she was a special education administrator at both the building and central office levels. She is known widely for her leadership of Project REACH, a Shelby County Schools program that provides support and training for school personnel and parents interested in children with autism. She is also an active leader of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC).

Dr. Ashcroft is co-author of the books Success Strategies for Teaching Kids with Autism and Social Skills Games and Activities for Kids with Autism, published by Prufrock, Inc., and two laminated guides, Autism: Strategies from A to Z (elementary and middle school editions), published by NPR, Inc./Dude Publishing.

Read more about CBU’s Education Department Philosophy

About User
Laura Dearman

Laura Dearman has over 20 years experience teaching in early childhood classrooms. Most recently, Dearman taught early childhood art, reader’s workshop and writer’s workshop at Presbyterian Day School.

As Director of Teacher Development, Dearman leads the Martin Institute Residents program, having built it from an idea into a highly sought after source of exceptional teacher development. Dearman also serves as director of the Institute's annual conference, held each June.

An expert in developing early literacy skills, Dearman has presented at various conferences, including TAIS, TAEYC, MAEYC, Shelby County Schools In-Service, and the Martin Institute Conference. Her popular workshops include “Come On! Let’s Write”, “Literacy Development and Little Explorers” and “Literacy Development in Kindergarten.” Dearman earned her bachelor’s degree from Ole Miss and her Master’s degree from The University of Memphis.

Dearman is passionate about developing teachers as leaders, and giving back to the city of Memphis. As Director of Teacher Development, she plays a key role in continuing to design, expand, and cultivate programs and networks that advance the work of The Martin Institute. The particular emphasis of the Institute’s teacher development program is to provide resources and support to increase Memphis area teachers’ abilities to design and lead transformative learning in the classroom.

Laura and her husband, Buddy, have two children and one crazy dog.

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