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Alice Hammel, President


Dr. Alice Hammel, Virginia Music Educator Association Outstanding Educator (2018) and current President Elect of the Virginia Music Educators Association, is a widely known music educator, author, and clinician whose experience in music is extraordinarily diverse. She is a member of the faculty of James Madison University, and has many years of experience teaching instrumental and choral music in public and private schools. Dr. Hammel has put these varied experiences to great use while compiling a large body of scholarly work. She is a co-author for four texts: Teaching Music to Students with Special Needs: A Label-free Approach, Teaching Music to Students with Autism, Winding It Back: Teaching to Individual Differences in Music Classroom and Ensemble Settings, and Teaching Music to Students with Special Needs: A Practical Resource. Dr. Hammel is President of the Council for Exceptional Children – Division for Visual and Performing Arts Education.


Kathleen Farrand, President Elect


Dr. Kathleen Farrand is an Associate Professor in Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College. She has taught 1st grade, 3rd grade, preschool, and at the college level. She currently teaches in the Early Childhood Special Education Program in the Division of Teacher Preparation. She has a Ph.D. in Language, Education, and Society and a M.A. in Educational Administration from The Ohio State University. In addition, she has an M.Ed. in Elementary Education from the University of Florida and a B.A. in Film Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara. 

She is interested in practices that improve the social and academic success of all learners in inclusive educational settings. Her areas of research focus on the use of dramatic inquiry in inclusive classrooms found along a continuum of educational placements to support student achievement, collaborative inquiry with classroom teachers to examine teacher change overtime, and examining how teachers changing awareness of how they position themselves and others connects to student learning and engagement. Dr. Farrand is editor for the Visual Impairment and DeafBlind Education Quarterly and she serves on the executive board for the Council for Exceptional Children-Division of Visual Impairments and Deafblindness. Dr. Farrand is president elect for the Council of Exceptional Children- Division of Visual and Performing Ars Education. Her recent publications can be found in TEACHING Exceptional Children, Multiple Voices for Ethnically Diverse Exceptional Learners, and the Journal of the Arts and Special Education.


Beverley Holden Johns, Secretary


Bev Johns has been in the field of special education for over 40 years, retiring from the public schools where  she developed programs for students with learning disabilities and emotional/behavioral disorders. She founded a public school for children with the most significant behavioral challenges. She is the author or co- author of 17 books.  She is now a Professional Fellow at MacMurray College.  She is the recipient of the 2000  Outstanding Leadership Award of CEC and also the recipient of the Romaine Mackie Award given by the  Pioneers Division.  She has served as President of CCBD and the Pioneers.  Bev is very excited about the formation of the DARTS division. 


Michael Dunn, Treasurer


An associate professor of special education and literacy at Washington State University, Vancouver, Michael Dunn teaches courses applicable to K-12 educators in the Special Education Endorsement, Master’s, and PhD in Special Education Programs. His areas of research interest include developing strategies for struggling writers with technology, and response to intervention (RTI)/Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS). He taught in Toronto (Ontario) area elementary/middle schools for 11 years, teaching students with learning disabilities in reading, writing, and/or math and with disabilities, pervasive developmental disorders (e.g., autism, Asperger’s), attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and multiple disabilities. He has received awards from the International Literacy Association (2011-2012 Outstanding Article Award), a 2009-2010 College of Education Faculty Funding Award, the Judy Nichols Mitchell Research Fellow Award, and the External Funding Award from Washington State University.


Susan Harvey, CEC Representative Assembly

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Dr. Harvey is Music Department Chair and Associate Professor of Music at MSU. She teaches music education courses, ear training, and has directed the Oratorio Chorus. Prior to teaching at MSU, she taught instrumental and choral music for 20 years in public schools. Dr. Harvey presents sessions at state, national, and international music education conferences and at educator in-services. Topics for presentations have focused on the use of Kodály methods in the instrumental classroom, intonation in instrumental ensembles (band and orchestra), and teaching practice strategies in the ensemble rehearsal. Dr. Harvey is conductor of the Wichita Falls Youth Symphony Orchestra, where she implements Kodály and music learning theory-based teaching strategies.


Ruth Eren, CEC Representative Assembly


Dr. Eren is a retired professor with emeritus status at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven, Connecticut. At the university, Dr. Eren was the Director of the Center of Excellence on Autism Spectrum Disorders and was awarded the Dorothy W. Goodwin Endowed Chair in Special Education.  She was a full professor in the Department of Special Education/Reading in the College of Education.  Dr. Eren led the development of the SCSU Master’s degree program in Special Education with a concentration in Autism Spectrum Disorders and Other Developmental Disabilities. She has presented to both state and national audiences on topics related to professional development and program design for students with ASD . Among her numerous publications, Dr. Eren was a key author of the CT State Guidelines for Serving Children and Youth with ASD.  In retirement, Dr. Eren continues to serve on a number of advisory boards related to services for individuals with ASD.

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