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Meet The Leadership TeamBoard Members

CA Transition Alliance Joyce Montgomery Region 4 Lead

Joyce Montgomery

Co-President

Joyce Montgomery, MA Ed, is a Program Manager with Vallejo City Joyce Montgomery, MA Ed, is a Program Manager with Vallejo City of Education. She has 30 years of experience working in public education. She has successfully implemented collaborative employment transition programs with the California Department of Rehabilitation, California Department of Education, Workforce Investment board and local school districts, including CaPROMISE, CaCareer Career Invocations as her most recent projects. She has served as region and state advisory for various projects including, CaPROMISE, Ca Career Innovations, WorkAbility, Transition Partnership Project and previous Youth in Transition Demonstration Project with Social Security Administration, Bridges to Youth Self Sufficiency. She has served as a Senate Select Committee Member of the Blue Ribbon Commission for the Employment of People with Autism and Developmental Disabilities and has Chaired and served as a member of various work groups and committees designed to increase the employment of people with disabilities including the Solano Co. Mayor’s Committee for the Employment of People with Disabilities. Her accomplishments include publications in peer reviewed Journals, including the Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation and co-author of a chapter in The Road Ahead, Transition to Adult Life, a text used in numerous Special Education Credentialing programs at Universities across the country.

CA Transition Alliance Dee Torrington Region 3 Lead

Dee Torrington

Co-President

Dee has been a special educator for 24 years. She is a Past President of CARS+, California Association of Resource Specialist and Special Educator. While President of CARS she served on the California Community of Practice on Secondary Transition. She was appointed to the One System Task Force in 2015 and worked on the MTSS subcommittee. Following that, Dee was given the opportunity to participate on the CTC Task Force in 2016 to redesign the Education Specialist teaching credential. Dee’s passion has always been being a support to other teachers in the field and has worked many years as a teaching mentor through the Teacher Induction Program (formerly known as BTSA) at the Sacramento County Office Of Education.

California Transition Alliance Vicki Shadd Vice President

Vicki Shadd

Past Vice-President

Vicki currently works as adjunct faculty at Chico State University and an Administrative Coach for ACSA. She is a past Assistant Superintendent of Student Services and SELPA Special Education Local Plan Area Director. Her work in the area of Secondary Transition includes Co-Chairing the State SELPA Transition Committee, Director of WorkAbility I and the Transition Partnership Program in Glenn County, Chair of the California WorkAbility Advisory Committee, Vicki’s passion has always been and still is that our job, no matter what our role, is to support students in developing the skills, attitudes, assets and behaviors they need to be successful in adult life. She has participated in several regional and statewide leadership roles in the area of Transition and served on various committees. At the local level she has been a part of creating and sustaining several collaboratives that focus on integrating and including youth and young adults with disabilities into larger efforts which include a multitude of populations, topics and environments.

CA Transition Alliance Carol Barrett Treasurer

Carol Barrett

Treasurer

Carol has 41 years of experience in the field of Special Education as teacher, LD Specialist, and administrator. After working at the community college level as both an LD Specialist and teacher of students with moderate to severe disabilities, Carol’s passion to see students with disabilities supported in gaining the skills needed to make a successful school-to-work / life transition grew. WorkAbility and Transition Partnership Programs were a natural next step. She retired in 2016 after 23 years of working as the program manager for Mendocino County Office of Education / SELPA’s WorkAbility and TPP. Over the past 14 years, she has continued to support the training and professional development of teachers and professionals who serve transition-aged youth through her involvement with the CA Transition Alliance.

CA Transition Alliance Tracy Hurd Region 10 Lead

Tracy Hurd

Secretary

I worked as a Special Education High School teacher in the Corona Norco Unified School District for 21 years. While working at John F. Kennedy Middle College High School, as the resident Resource Specialist, I realized there was a huge disparity between general and special education exposure to appropriate college and career readiness preparation. I became dedicated to providing students on IEP’s with the resources and tools necessary for a successful post-secondary future.

CA Transition Alliance Kristina Lewis Region 1 Lead

Kristina Lewis

Website & Membership Chair

Kristina has worked in secondary transition for the last 20 years, currently as a Program Manager, and previously as a TPP Specialist for Mendocino COE/SELPA WorkAbility I & Transition Partnership Program (TPP). She holds a M.Ed. in Secondary Special Education Transition Services. As a co-lead for the Mendocino Local Partnership Agreement team, Kristina chairs the Mendocino Interagency Transition Team that supports the successful transition of adult students exiting 18-22 transition programs. She has contributed to Pennsylvania’s Transition Discoveries initiative. Kristina is passionate about supporting students with the tools and experiences needed to reach their full potential, developing their self-determination skills, and ultimately helping them feel fulfilled in the adult world.

CA Transition Alliance Val Wiltse Region 5 Lead

Val Wiltse

Training Chair

I am an adjunct counselor and professor with the Department of Supportive Programs & Services (DSPS), a role that I am deeply passionate about. I work with students who have verified disabilities and receive accommodations. I strive to provide them with the best possible support. My journey in Education began at Gavilan and Hartnell College, where I collected my lower division courses to transfer to the University of Phoenix and onto California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB). My undergraduate degree is in business with an emphasis on human resource management; I further honed my formal schooling and expertise by completing a graduate degree in Education, earning an Educational Specialist Credential, and a Master’s degree in Education. This field has equipped me with valuable skills for my current role.

Before becoming a Counselor and Professor in the Community College networks, I became a Program Specialist with Monterey County Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA). This position allowed me to exercise my leadership skills. I supported the 25 K-12 school districts in Monterey County, guiding them in their efforts to provide the best education and career growth opportunities for their students. My main focus was ensuring that staff had the formal knowledge to guide and teach each student on the right educational path and to create a well-constructed plan for their chosen pathways, thereby advancing their goals. I found great satisfaction in my role as a Program Specialist, providing support to all Local Education Agencies (LEAs) in the SELPA and to families and individual learners with disabilities.

Lastly, I am a leading board member of the California Transition Alliance. There, we emphasize preparing youth to transition from school to work, post-secondary Education and training, and independent living.

It gives me extreme joy when I watch students succeed in their chosen pathways to success! I am here to support you in your academic and career successes.

CA Transition Alliance Richard Rosenberg Higher Education/Agency Liaison

Richard Rosenberg

Higher Education/Agency Liaison

Ph.D. in Behavioral Disabilities and Educational Administration received from University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1980. Over 35 years of teaching and administrative experience. Presently faculty member at California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA) and San Diego State University, Interwork Institute (SDSU) as Region Manager with two federal grants – California Career Innovations (CII) and Promoting the Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income (CaPROMISE). Provide supports and technical assistance to Chapman University’s Thompson Policy Institute (TPI). Completed 32 years as Career Vocational Coordinator for Whittier Union High School District (WUHSD) in administrative position responsible for coordination of vocational and career support for all students with disabilities for seven district high schools and providing technical assistance for Community Advocates for People’s Choice (CAPC) adult agency providing supported employment and supported living services. Board member of the California Transition Alliance. Developed and participated with a number of Interagency Systems Change grants linking Education, Rehabilitation, and Developmental Disabilities services at a local, state, and national.

Region Leads

CA Transition Alliance Kristina Lewis Region 1 Lead

Kristina Lewis

Region 1 Lead

Kristina has worked in secondary transition for the last 20 years, currently as a Program Manager, and previously as a TPP Specialist for Mendocino COE/SELPA WorkAbility I & Transition Partnership Program (TPP). She holds a M.Ed. in Secondary Special Education Transition Services. As a co-lead for the Mendocino Local Partnership Agreement team, Kristina chairs the Mendocino Interagency Transition Team that supports the successful transition of adult students exiting 18-22 transition programs. She has contributed to Pennsylvania’s Transition Discoveries initiative. Kristina is passionate about supporting students with the tools and experiences needed to reach their full potential, developing their self-determination skills, and ultimately helping them feel fulfilled in the adult world.

CA Transition Alliance Geralyn Elliot Region 2 Lead

Geralyn Elliott

Region 2 Lead

Geralyn Elliott is the WorkAbility I Coordinator for Shasta Union High School District, Anderson High School District, Gateway Unified School District, and the Redding School District. She is the WorkAbility I Region Manager for Region 4 and a member of the WorkAbility Advisory. Geralyn has a Bachelor’s in Business Management from the University of Maryland. Before working as a paraprofessional in the Shasta Union High School District, she had over 20 years of experience as a Human Resources Professional. Her HR background is an excellent fit with WorkAbility assisting students with employment skills and helping Employers create opportunities for students to gain new skills successfully. Geralyn is married to a retired teacher/coach and is a proud mother of a blended family of five children and nine grandchildren.
CA Transition Alliance Dee Torrington Region 3 Lead

Dee Torrington

Region 3 Lead

Dee has been a special educator for 24 years. She is a Past President of CARS+, California Association of Resource Specialist and Special Educator. While President of CARS she served on the California Community of Practice on Secondary Transition. She was appointed to the One System Task Force in 2015 and worked on the MTSS subcommittee. Following that, Dee was given the opportunity to participate on the CTC Task Force in 2016 to redesign the Education Specialist teaching credential. Dee’s passion has always been being a support to other teachers in the field and has worked many years as a teaching mentor through the Teacher Induction Program (formerly known as BTSA) at the Sacramento County Office Of Education.

CA Transition Alliance Joyce Montgomery Region 4 Lead

Joyce Montgomery

Region 4 Lead

Joyce Montgomery, MA Ed, is a Program Manager with Vallejo City Joyce Montgomery, MA Ed, is a Program Manager with Vallejo City of Education. She has 30 years of experience working in public education. She has successfully implemented collaborative employment transition programs with the California Department of Rehabilitation, California Department of Education, Workforce Investment board and local school districts, including CaPROMISE, CaCareer Career Invocations as her most recent projects. She has served as region and state advisory for various projects including, CaPROMISE, Ca Career Innovations, WorkAbility, Transition Partnership Project and previous Youth in Transition Demonstration Project with Social Security Administration, Bridges to Youth Self Sufficiency. She has served as a Senate Select Committee Member of the Blue Ribbon Commission for the Employment of People with Autism and Developmental Disabilities and has Chaired and served as a member of various work groups and committees designed to increase the employment of people with disabilities including the Solano Co. Mayor’s Committee for the Employment of People with Disabilities. Her accomplishments include publications in peer reviewed Journals, including the Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation and co-author of a chapter in The Road Ahead, Transition to Adult Life, a text used in numerous Special Education Credentialing programs at Universities across the country.

CA Transition Alliance Marty Northrip Region 5 Lead

Marty Northrip

Region 5 Lead

CA Transition Alliance Margaret St. George Region 6 Lead

Margaret St. George

Region 6 Lead

Margaret St. George retired in 2019 after 34 years in education. For 26 of those years she worked in special education as a program specialist, school psychologist and Workability 1 Director with specializations in Secondary Transition and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). In retirement she is a support supervisor for new teacher interns and volunteers with the California transition Alliance (CATA).

CA Transition Alliance Coleen Duran Region 7 Lead

Coleen Duran

Region 7 Lead

Currently working as the Director of Special Education for Madera County Superintendent of Schools with a focus on creating and implementing the Alternative Diploma Track for Students with disabilities who are enrolled in a Madera County Program. Previously was a Program Specialist for 8 years with Madera Unified School District supporting Secondary School Sites, as well as the Adult Transition Program, with Transition and the Workability Program. Before that, was a special education teacher within Madera Unified at the Middle and High School level for 9 years. During that time includes being the Workability teacher and a mentor through the Induction Program (formally known as BTSA).

CA Transition Alliance Lee Ramos Region 8 Lead

Lee Ramos

Region 8 Lead

25 years in Special Education as a teacher, Program Specialist and now an administrator. I have served on the WorkAbility1 state advisory committee and now serve on the CA Transition Alliance board representing region 8.

CA Transition Alliance Linda O'Neal Region 9 Lead

Linda O'Neal

Region 9 Lead

Linda earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Southern California and her master’s degree in Special Education from California State University Los Angeles. She has worked in the education field for over 40 years and has experience teaching in grades K-12 as a General Education Teacher, Special Education Teacher and Transition Specialist. Additionally, she concurrently worked as an Adjunct Faculty Member for the Chapman University Special Education Department for 25 years.
Linda is currently the Transition Specialist for the Chapman University Thompson Policy Institute (TPI) where she provides leadership for the Orange County Transition Initiative and the Orange County Local Partnership Agreement with a focus on career pathway work experiences, employment, and post-secondary education with a goal of promoting adult self–sufficiency and quality of life for individuals with disabilities. She has been instrumental in the development of the TPI Transition Website which offers resources for Individuals with Disabilities, Families, Educators, Service Providers and Business Partners. In addition, she is a consultant for the San Diego State Interwork Institute and Regional Center of Orange County.

CA Transition Alliance Robynn Gualtiere Region 10 Lead

Robynn Gualtiere

Region 10 Lead

Robynn Gualtiere is the Transition Specialist for San Jacinto Unified School District. She received her Master’s in Special Education from Azusa Pacific and has completed her Administrative Credential coursework with National University. She is currently the WorkAbility I Region 5 Co-Manager and the WorkAbility I State Advisory Committee Alternate Chair. She has been with San Jacinto Unified for 20 years and manages the WorkAbility I Grant, the We Can Work Contract, and the WorkAbility I Statewide Elementary Grant. Robynn was a biomedical engineer before going into education. When her daughter was born with Spina Bifida, she quickly realized her passion was to help individuals with disabilities realize their potential as adults.

CA Transition Alliance Geri Fuchigami Region 11 Lead

Geri Fuchigami

Region 11 Lead

Geri Fuchigami spent 32 years in public education (LAUSD) working as a general education teacher, special education teacher, specialist, and coordinator to develop and support high quality, rigorous instruction, focusing on students with extensive support needs. Her passion is in the area of Transition and services that support students to make smooth transitions to successful independent post-secondary lives. Geri continues to work with university teacher preparation programs by supporting teacher candidates. (CSUDH) She has served on state committees (Autism, High School Diploma) university/college advisories (LMU, CSUN, CSULB, Harbor College) and professional organizations as well as presented at many conferences on behalf of students with extensive support needs. (Cal TASH, TASH, CA Transition Alliance, Regional Center, Department of Rehabilitation, Bridge to the Future Conf)

Region 1

Region 2

Region 3

Region 4

Region 5

Region 6

Region 7

Region 8

Region 9

Region 10

Region 11

Lead: Kristina Lewis

klewis@mcoe.us

  • Del Norte
  • Humboldt
  • Mendocino
  • Lake
  • Sonoma

Lead: Geralyn Elliott

gelliott@suhsd.net

  • Butte
  • Glenn
  • Lassen
  • Modoc
  • Plumas
  • Shasta
  • Siskiyou
  • Tehama
  • Trinity

Lead: Dee Torrington

dtorrington@gmail.com

  • Sutter
  • Colusa
  • Yuba
  • Nevada
  • Sierra
  • Placer
  • Yolo
  • El Dorado
  • Sacramento
  • Alpine

Lead: Joyce Montgomery

Joycemontgomery55@gmail.com

  • Marin
  • Napa
  • Solano
  • Contra Costa
  • San Mateo
  • Alameda
  • San Francisco

Lead: Marty Northrip

northrip.marty@gmail.com

  • Santa Clara
  • Santa Cruz
  • San Benito
  • Monterey

Lead: Margaret St. George

mrlstgeorge@gmail.com

  • Amador
  • San Joaquin
  • Calaveras
  • Tuolumne
  • Stanislaus

Lead: Coleen Duran

cduran@mcsos.org

  • Fresno
  • Kings
  • Madera
  • Mariposa
  • Merced
  • Tulare

Lead: Lee Ramos

lramos@kernhigh.org

  • San Luis Obispo
  • Santa Barbara
  • Kern
  • Ventura

Lead: Linda O’Neal

Linda_ONEAL@cox.net

  • Orange
  • San Diego
  • Imperial

Lead: Robynn Gualtiere

rgualtiere@sanjacinto.k12.ca.us

  • Mono
  • Inyo
  • San Bernardino
  • Riverside

Lead: Geri Fuchigami

Geri.fuchigami@gmail.com

  • Los Angeles

Region 1

Region 2

Region 3

Region 4

Region 5

Region 6

Region 7

Region 8

Region 9

Region 10

Region 11

Lead: Kristina Lewis
klewis@mcoe.us

  • Del Norte
  • Humboldt
  • Mendocino
  • Lake
  • Sonoma

Lead: Geralyn Elliott
gelliott@suhsd.net

  • Butte
  • Glenn
  • Lassen
  • Modoc
  • Plumas
  • Shasta
  • Siskiyou
  • Tehama
  • Trinity

Lead: Dee Torrington
dtorrington@gmail.com

  • Sutter
  • Colusa
  • Yuba
  • Nevada
  • Sierra
  • Placer
  • Yolo
  • El Dorado
  • Sacramento
  • Alpine

Lead: Joyce Montgomery
Joycemontgomery55@gmail.com

  • Marin
  • Napa
  • Solano
  • Contra Costa
  • San Mateo
  • Alameda
  • San Francisco

Lead: Marty Northrip
northrip.marty@gmail.com

  • Santa Clara
  • Santa Cruz
  • San Benito
  • Monterey
Lead: Margaret St. George
mrlstgeorge@gmail.com

  • Amador
  • San Joaquin
  • Calaveras
  • Tuolumne
  • Stanislaus

Lead: Coleen Duran
cduran@mcsos.org

  • Fresno
  • Kings
  • Madera
  • Mariposa
  • Merced
  • Tulare

Lead: Lee Ramos
lramos@kernhigh.org

  • San Luis Obispo
  • Santa Barbara
  • Kern
  • Ventura

Lead: Linda O’Neal
Linda_ONEAL@cox.net

  • Orange
  • San Diego
  • Imperial

Lead: Robynn Gualtiere
rgualtiere@sanjacinto.k12.ca.us

  • Mono
  • Inyo
  • San Bernardino
  • Riverside

Lead: Geri Fuchigami
Geri.fuchigami@gmail.com

  • Los Angeles

Liaison Support

CA Transition Alliance Kevin Shaefer Virtual Support and Inclusion Liaison

Kevin Schaefer

Virtual Support & Inclusion Liaison

Kevin Schaefer is currently the Director of Equity and Inclusive Practices for the Supporting Inclusive Practices project through the El Dorado County Office of Education. In this role, Mr. Schaefer works to improve educational outcomes for students with disabilities through providing high quality leadership and support to the California Department of Education and LEAs throughout the state. Additionally, he provides organizational support through his work in promoting continuous improvement processes and alignment of initiatives that focus on creating enabling least restrictive environments that honor the diversity of learners across general and special education settings. His varied background as a special education teacher, administrator and national/state technical assistance provider has led to expertise in the areas of systems change and inclusive educational practices that result in educational benefit for all students.

California Transition Alliance Ellen Coulston East Coast Ambassador

Ellen Coulston

East Coast Ambassador

Ellen Coulston is an “east coast ambassador” of the California Transition Alliance (CATA). An advocate for developing the Youth Voice, Coulston has partnered with the CATA through their Secondary Transition Capacity Building Institutes. Ellen is a proponent for #StudentLedIEP meetings and developed a podcast titled the “IEP Road to Freedom” where she interviews students who lead their IEP meetings and love it! She earned a graduate degree in Secondary Transition Services from George Washington University and believes #TransitionPlanning and #SelfDetermination was the best part of IDEA! Follow CATA on Twitter at @CATA_transition.

California Transition Alliance Tara Jones Workability I Liaison

Tara Jones

WorkAbility I Liaison

Tara Jones is a District Program Specialist and WorkAbility I Coordinator for Hacienda La Puente Unified School District. She currently serves as the WorkAbility Advisory, Government Relations Committee State Chair. She has worked in the field of education for over 20 years. Prior to her current position, she was a special education teacher for the Hacienda La Puente Adult Transition Program and assisted in starting supported work experience programs for students in the community. She received her Master’s in Special Education from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.

CA Transition Alliance PJ Swan Liaison

PJ Swan

Liaison

Liaison to the CA Let’s Work Youth Network. I became involved with the California Transition Alliance when I was in high school. I had the opportunity to gain work experience through the Lodi Unified School District WorkAbility I and The Transition Partnership Program at many job site. I have spoken at many conferences about Self-Advocacy, finding my voice and telling my story. Now I work full time at Lodi Unified School District as a Job Coach assistant and I work in classrooms supporting students as they move from high school to adult life.

California Transition Alliance Liaison Sean Spence

Sean Spence

Liaison

I am Sean Spence. I have a B.A. in Psychology from Chico State University and my goal is a masters degree. My philosophy is to help people improve their life. Two accomplishments are: Invited to speak to the CA Advisory Commission on Special Education as a contributor, October 2022; invited to write a life story article, published in The Special EDge Newsletter, June 2022. My location is in Northern California. My hobby is traveling.

California Transition Alliance Olivia Raynor Liaison

Olivia Raynor

Liaison

Dr. Olivia Raynor, Disability Policy Consultant, brings over 45 years-experience to her role as a national leader in policy development, implementation, and advocacy across various domains including secondary transition planning, inclusive higher education, employment, disability arts and access, and adult service systems for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. As the Director Emerita of the Tarjan Center, a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities and Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the University of California Los Angeles (2000-20022), she has a substantial background leading state and federal systems change projects. Founder and Director of the UCLA National Arts and Disability Center (1994-2023), she has been and is a prominent advocate for the intersection of art, culture, and disability.

Dr. Raynor has contributed to numerous state and national boards and committees, including as President of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities and member of the California State Council on Developmental Disabilities. From 2000-2021, she was appointed by Governors Davis and Brown to the California State Council on Developmental Disabilities. In January 2023, Governor Newsom appointed her to the California Arts Council. Dr. Raynor also currently serves as a disability advisor to VoteRiders. Dr. Raynor earned her bachelor’s degree from Boston University and master’s degree from the University of Southern California in occupational therapy, and a PhD in educational psychology from UCLA.

CA Transition Alliance Liz Zastrow Training Chair

Liz Zastrow

Past Training Chair

Liz’s career includes working as special education teacher of the Deaf and Blind. She served in the United States Peace Corps employed with the Jamaica Association for the Deaf and the Salvation Army for the Blind. Upon returning to the United States she joined Lodi Unified School District where she has worked as a teacher and program specialist. For the past 40 years she has focused on autism spectrum disorders, low incidence disabilities and secondary transition. She coordinates the State Pilot Transition Partnership Program (facilitated a student/system change pilot with CDE and DOR, focusing on mapping to employment, a living wage for all students), WorkAbility I Program, Paid Internship Program, California Career Innovations. She is a member of the California Community of Practice Leadership Team, Self-Determination Committee for VMRC, Statewide High School Diploma Workgroup and the Statewide Social Security Task Force. She is co-owner of a private business, STEPS, focused on assisting parents and school districts to work through the maze of transition. She is dedicated to continuing this work in retirement, assisting students and families with Person-Centered Planning and raising the employment expectations for all students preschool through adult, building the bridge between preschool and secondary transition. As a July 2020 retiree of Lodi USD, she is dedicated to continuing the work in assisting students and families with Person-Centered Planning and raising the employment expectations for all students preschool through adult, building the bridge between preschool and secondary transition.

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