The goal of this State Transition Leadership Team is to steer movement on transition on a statewide scale—to identify needs, rally resources, coordinate efforts, and spur improvements.

This team will have input on the design of a new state transition conference, how technical assistance for school districts is delivered, and new trainings that will be developed.

The team is comprised of exceptional education directors, teachers, representatives from state government agencies and representatives from advocacy organizations, and others.

Tie Hodack | Director of Exceptional Student Education, MNPS

Marie Wicks | Transition Coordinator, Williamson Co.

Carrie Guiden | Exec. Director, The Arc TN

Sarah Huffman | Director of Exceptional Student Education, Germantown MSD

Vanessa Johnson | Program Instructor, Putnam Co.

Michelle Pittman | Special Education Specialist, Knox Co.

Lauren Pearcy | Director of Public Policy, TN Council on DD

Kimberly Matthews | Regional Field Supervisor for PreETS


Crystal Bishop | Training Administrator in Self-Determination & Transition, UTK CLEE

Ben Robertson | TSW Coordinator, Kingsport City Schools

Jerre Maynor | Director of Student Readiness, TN DOE

Joey Ellis | Postsecondary Transition Specialist, TN STEP

Blake Shearer | Director of Support Services for Student Readiness, TN DOE

Erik Carter | Cornelius Vanderbilt University Professor

Elise McMillan | Co-director, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center


Gayle Feltner | TSW Director, VR

Devin Curtis | Media Producer, TransitionTN

Jessica Awsumb | Research Associate, TransitionTN

Rachael Jenkins | Educational Consultant, TransitionTN

Shimul Gajjar | Educational Consultant, TransitionTN

Erin Maves | Educational Consultant, TransitionTN

Wendi Gearing | Educational Consultant, TransitionTN

Catherine Duggan | Educational Consultant, TransitionTN


Special thanks to our statewide Task Force for their contributions to this project

Melanie Amburn, Loudon County Schools
Pat Beane, Shelby Co. Schools
Lauren Bethune, TennesseeWorks
Erik Carter, Vanderbilt University
Jill Church, Millington Municipal Schools
Jennifer Copeland, Cheatham County Schools
Karen Curry, Metro Nashville Public Schools
Cindy Dacosta, Tullahoma City Schools
Kathryn Deitzer, Metro Nashville Public Schools
Mitzi Delker, Hamilton Co. Schools
Kathleen Dillehay, Sumner Co. Schools
Joey Ellis, STEP
Gayle Feltner, Vocational Rehabilitation
Alison Gauld, Tennessee Department of Education
Crystal Godwin, UT-K Center for Literacy, Education, and Employment
Amy Gonzalez, Tennessee DIDD
Maria Griego, Williamson Co. Schools
Taylia Griffith, Clarksville-Montgomery County Schools
Carrie Guiden, The Arc of Tennessee
Michelle Halman, TennesseeWorks
Sarah Harvey, Vocational Rehabilitation
Brandi Hays, Smith Co. Schools
Tie Hodack, Metro Nashville Public Schools
Melvin Jackson, UT-K Center for Literacy, Education, and Employment
Yovancha Lewis-Brown, Vocational Rehabilitation
Gina Lynette, Support and Training for Exceptional Parents
Lorri Mabry, TennesseeWorks
Treva Maitland, The Arc of Tennessee
Ryan Mathis, Tennessee Department of Education
Elise McMillian, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center
Gayla Newton, Maury Co. Schools
Jill Omer, Tennessee Department of Education
Lauren Pearcy, TennCare
Michelle Pittman, Knox County Schools
Angela Prince, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Loria Richardson, The Arc of Tennessee
Joann Runion, Tennessee Department of Education
Michelle Seiler, Collierville Schools
Blake Shearer, Tennessee Department of Education
Martina Stump, Putnam County Schools
Kelly Wendel, TennesseeWorks
Leah White, Williamson County Schools
Marie Wicks, Williamson Co. Schools
Wanda Willis, The Council on Developmental Disabilities